‘Tis the season for…stress?

charlie_brown_tree

source: kuddlyteddybear2004 on flickr.com

In the midst of all the holiday hoopla, I sometimes find myself feeling very Charlie Brown.  You know what I mean, that feeling of, “Why does it all seem so commercialized?  What’s it all really about?”  I think it’s probably pretty normal to feel this way sometimes, but how do we keep it from taking over?  How do we stop the holiday stress from killing our holiday spirit?

First, park yourself on a couch somewhere and watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”  This never fails to make me feel a little better.  I mean, who can resist Snoopy when he’s dancing on top of that piano?  But in all seriousness, I went looking for some advice and these are the suggestions that stood out to me.

  1. Be realistic!  Don’t expect perfection or you’ll only set yourself up for disappointment.  What are we really celebrating, anyway?  How many presents are under the tree?  I surely hope not.
  2. Take time for yourself.  Get away from it all for a bit.  Do some things that reduce your stress, like taking a walk or listening to music, and do them regularly.  Me, I knit or ride a horse.
  3. Reach out to others.  This means different things to different people, but what it comes down to is not hoarding the stress until you explode.  Volunteering, for example, could help you to put your stress into perspective.

These are just a few suggestions, but you can find more information on the American Psychological Association, Mayo Clinic, and Cleveland Clinic websites.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

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