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Peace or complete chaos?

How is it that we can shift that holiday stress into a time of peace and joy? Isn’t that what we are supposed to be celebrating? Peace on Earth, Joy to the World, Oh Holy Night? Living in each day and moment through the time of advent, over Christmas and leading into the new year?

Is it possible OR does the hustle and bustle of decorating, baking, parties, school performances, work events, neighborhood get togethers, shopping, gift exchanges and wrapping gifts consume every ounce of your being, zapping your energy; leaving you wondering where the time went at the end of the day and crashing into bed?

Let’s be real – the holiday season can make people NUTS! stress_free_christmasIf I am being completely honest, that is me in years past. I felt the overwhelming stress of not finding the perfect gift and leaving things to the last-minute. The days passed too quickly, I attended events but was never fully present and before I knew it, the holidays were over. My memories a bit of a blur.
Can you relate? How different could this season be if we were all more aware? If we all took the time to truly feel the joy and gifts of the season? To live with faith and focus on the meaning of Christmas?
I most definitely have not done this is years past; but with each passing year and increased awareness, I am learning to slow down, breathe and enjoy making those memories.

So, what can you do to slow down this season? To not feel ready to pull your hair out? To not end each day completely frazzled and exhausted?

Here are my 6 tips to not only survive the season, but LIVE the season:

  1. It’s OK to say NO. If it adds stress and you really do not want to do it, but are thinking of saying yes out of guilt or obligation, say no. You do not have to do everything. You do not have to strive for perfection. The people who love you will understand.
  2. Stick to your schedule (for the most part). Enjoy the holiday additions to your calendar, stick with your workouts and don’t overbook.
  3. Take a walk and breathe. The sunshine, rhythm of walking and fresh air deep in your lungs helps relieve stress hormones in your body while boosting your immune system.
  4. Laugh. Surround yourself with people who make you smile and laugh out loud. If they aren’t available, rent a funny holiday movie like Christmas Vacation. Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, promoting an overall sense of well-being.
  5. Enjoy your cup of joe. Instead of grabbing that coffee as your run out the door, get up 10 minutes earlier, sit and focus on what you are grateful for or spend a few minutes in prayer. I promise you will enjoy the quiet and the coffee tastes better 🙂
  6. Ask for help. Most of us are afraid to ask, as it may upset or inconvenience someone else. If you do not ask, you will never know. Most of us are willing and able to help out and would be upset if you didn’t ask. So, ASK!  Even the kids, ask them. Get them involved. Lean on a family member or friend…that’s what we are here for!

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Cheers to a memorable, less stress-filled holiday season.
~Lindsey

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