Stress! Anxiety! It doesn’t matter how prepared we try to be for the holidays. And it doesn’t matter how early we start. Every single year, the holidays sneak up on us and we aren’t ready! We still have our everyday obligations; school, work, kids, parents, etc., now add to that social obligations, holiday shopping, baking, and so on. Whether you are a tween, a centurion, or somewhere in between this time of year can be extremely stressful.
What is Stress and how can it Affect us
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, stress is the response of our brain and body to any demand for change, i.e. heaping shopping, decorating and making cookies on top of everything else we already do. How can it affect us? We may have difficulty sleeping, we may be more easily angered, we may feel overwhelmed or even slightly depressed – the holiday blues.
How to De-stress
So, we all love the holidays. We all want to experience the joys that come with, “The most wonderful time of the year”. But how do we do that without feeling overwhelmed? The British thought leader Marcus Buckingham said it best with his profound stress quote, “Many of us feel stress and get overwhelmed not because we’re taking on too much, but because we’re taking on too little of what really strengthens us”.
There is so much to be taken from that quote. I think the bottom line is that we need to take the time to do a few things for ourselves during the holidays. It is all about relaxation. This time of year, every one of us needs to take some ‘me’ time and enjoy the moment.
Taking ‘me’ time is not being selfish; it is simply taking a few minutes here and there to enjoy what makes you happy. One minute it may be baking cookies in a kitchen full of family and friends, and the next minute you may feel you need solitude. Not only does everyone deserve solitude, but it is quite healthy for you – so go for it.
While enjoying your solitude, you may relish staying in your comfort zone by reading a book, looking out the window at a snowfall or even watching your favorite holiday movie; the one you have watched more times than you can count.
Or, maybe during your ‘me / solitude’ time, you may want to consider stepping out of your comfort zone. Experiment with something you’ve thought about and imagined, but never tried. For example, go shopping and try on that outfit – the one you thought would never look good on you. If you were right and you do not like the look, at least you have stepped out of your comfort zone and given it a try. On the other hand, you may surprise yourself and absolutely love it.
Have you ever started your daily makeup routine and thought ‘I really would like to try something new/different, but where to begin’? Well take some time and experiment. Make your eyebrows more dramatic. Try an eyeshadow that you have always admired on someone else and wondered how it would look on you. What about that darker lip color or a different bolder mascara? Sure, you are used to wearing just a hint of mascara to barely accentuate your lashes, but this is the time to go-for-it and go-for-it in a big way. Too afraid that you will end up with nothing but a big glob of sloppy mascara – not to worry; there are products out there such as the Flutterby Mascara Shield that will help you with the application. Just do it!
And remember, it is all about taking on enough of what really strengthens us.
During the final edits of this post, Joy Bauer appeared on the Kathy Lee and Hoda Show with wonderful advice. Plus follow this link to the article, “6 Simple Tips to Avoid Holiday Stress” and watch the video for additional recommendations.