Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Feel Good Wednesday - Conquering Holiday Season Stress

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Lovelies, I don't know about you, but my holiday planning (and thus holiday stress) is in full swing right about now.  Gift buying, holiday party planning, outfit buying for holiday parties, house decoration, preparing for the in-laws coming into town...I could go on.  I am sure you could too! I really want to avoid a nervous breakdown like the woman in the picture above, don't you?!

I thought for today's feel good post, I would focus on 5 ways we can all get through the holiday season (which is supposed to be lovely, not stressful) with a little less anxiety!

1) Exercise

You all know what I am about to say, exercise alleviates stress.  Your endorphins pump, you get a chance to be alone during all the craziness.  That 30 minute run or hour long yoga class can be all you need to decompress or prepare to face your day. Exercise, just do it!

2) Do something festive that makes YOU happy

We all have our own favorite holiday activities.  Some people love seeing the new holiday flick,  listening to carols,shopping, baking, ice skating, parties, decorating etc. The point here is no two people have the same ideas about activities that must be done during the holiday season, so don't let your friends, husband, boyfriend, mother, brother, girlfriend or puppy dog dictate how you spend your holiday free time!  Make sure to do at least one activity for you!

3) Spend less, create more

A big stress for many people during this giving season, is the money involved in the giving part.  Here is a hint to make your shopping less stressful - spend less, create more.  There is no better time than the holidays to make handmade, thoughtful, heartfelt gifts.  Look here for ideas!  Show me a person that wouldn't appreciate a handmade gift, and I will delete this point.  You won't find one.  A $10 handmade cookie mix will be just as well received as Kate Spade earrings. (By the way, aren't these adorable?!).  Everyone gets what the holidays are about - the thought of giving not the price tag.

4) Get organized!

I think this one is pretty obvious, but you never know!  With gifts to by, food to cook, a house decorate and get prepared for guests, parties to go too, outfits to plan for said parties to go too, its easily to get overwhelmed.  Solution = make lists. Make lists upon lists upon lists.

If you aren't a list person, do whatever your method is for organization. But, I would highly suggest at least breaking down the categories: food, rooms to prepare, gifts to buy, etc.

Interesting Lindsey note: I actually plan my gift-giving by tearing out magazine pages, clippings etc. and then post-noting who the pages / gifts are for.  I have little stacks all over my desk of gift clippings!  I am very visual, so these help me when I am out and about shopping.  I can actually visualise who is getting the throw blanket, electronic holding cases, etc.  I also have a master gift list, so I don't forget people!

5) Navigate the Family Drama

No one wants to admit it, but we all know its true.  Holiday family gatherings = holiday family drama.  Maybe Aunt Maggie drinks to much whisky and then spits angsty comments to Uncle Rob about how she hates his wife.  Maybe Mom and Dad are still not over the big fight from 10 years ago and year after year, the subject comes up over turkey and gravy.  Maybe you and your sister can not seem to get past the fact that in 1991 you received Malibu barbie and she received regular barbie - why would parents do such a thing?! (we all know the comparison conversation this leads too).  Maybe your brother-in-law refuses to accept any new traditions you bring to the family table.

Point here, when the family comes in, the drama comes up.

I am no expert on family relationships, but I think this article might help you navigate many situations you may encounter.

Am I missing other stresses, lovelies?  What bugs you during the holidays?  How do you cope with the stress involved?  I'm so curious.

Have a lovely Wednesday!



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