In my last post, I talked about the pressures and stress of the holidays. I would like to talk about how to handle the stress of the holiday expectations.

  1. It is what it is. Often our stress comes from unspoken and usually unmet expectations. Try just accepting that your holiday is what it is this year. If you have an expectation, express it and see if it can be met. If it can not be met, just try to let it be. Not everything has to be judged. Just allowing your holiday to happen can be liberating and freeing.
  2. Set Boundaries. Everyone has people in their life that is draining. Set boundaries for the times where you will be involved with these people. Boundaries keep everyone safe. They also allow you to enjoy your holiday.
  3. Don't push a rope. No one can make you angry. If someone is attacking you, remove yourself from their presence if you can. If you cannot, let them know that attacking you is not acceptable and ask them to change the subject. We cannot control how others react to us, only how we react to them. We don't have to get angry or "push a rope."
  4. Find meaningful time for you. Find a way to recharge your batteries. Read a book. Visit with someone who inspires you. Write  a journal entry. Express yourself.
  5. Give it away. Volunteer at a local charity. Give your time away. Helping others can be a very therapeutic endeavor. It can help us achieve calm.
  6. Relax. One of the hardest things to do over the holidays is to relax. The holidays will come and go every year. That is a constant. What is not constant is how we approach them.

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