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Holiday Stress and Overwhelm: Is it just me or can you relate??

Holiday Stress and Overwhelm:  Is it just me or can you relate??

Slowly, but surely, I've learned some strategies to prevent holiday burn-out and manage the stress that often comes with the holidays. I'm still learning, trust me, and these may not be revolutionary ideas. In fact, I'm probably writing this blog for myself...! Anyway, here are some highlights: 

-slash that list of to-do's and expectations in half (if not more!) and choose to do the things I want to do vs. feel I should do, need to do, etc. It's radical and some people may not like it, but who are we serving by over-committing and over-doing? Certainly not ourselves and probably not others. In fact we're likley less "available" to others and enjoy their company when we're stretched and stressed beyond healthy limits. 

-pace myself.  I don't need to buy a Christmas tree, haul the bins of decorations up from the basement, decorate the tree, put the bins back in the basement and clean up the pine needles all in one day. What a revelation! Hell, we didn't even...gasp... put up a tree last year. We went with our own version of a tree with some pine boughs and lights. It was lovely and much easier to create and take down. 

-schedule time for hot baths (with Epsom salts and baking soda to draw the stree & toxins out of my body), visits to the chiropractor and if finances allow, a massage or two. 

-resist the urge to invite the neighbors, friends, family and assorted stray cats to dinner or a party. We can get together in January when there's not much to do. The cats will understand. If there's time in my schedule and I feel up to it, I may plan a pot-luck brunch. Brunches are less stressful, for some reason, and still tons of fun.

-keep to my schedule of going to the gym, walking outside, and practicing yoga and meditation.  It makes such a difference in how I feel and ups the enjoyment-factor when socializing. Unless, of course, sleeping in a bit or a nap is in order.  Sometimes naps take priority over exercise. At times, resting is my spiritual practice. Which leads to my next tip.  

-naps.  Lots of naps.  Maybe just on the weekends, but occassionally a 15-minute rest lying down with an eye pillow when I have a moment during the week does the trick. Martha Beck, life coach, author and visionary for living our best lives says our theme for life should match the one we had when we were kids:  play, nap, play, nap. In that order. Can you believe she wrote that to millions of people?!?! Including Oprah? I LOVE it.  

How about you??  What have you learned to do (or not do) that helps you manage the stress and expectations that come with the holidays?  

I'd love to hear from you! 

Many blessings for a peaceful, easeful holiday season surrounded by those who love and uplift you, 
P.S. Join me on Wed., Dec. 9th, 6 - 7:30 PM for Ease Your Holiday Stress and Catch Your Breath: an evening of yoga, relaxation and practices to manage and protect your energy when shopping, hosting parties or attending family gatherings.  Call or email to reserve your space; the class is filling up.  

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