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  • Writer's pictureNicole Lovald

Managing Holiday Stress

Tis’ the season for holiday stress.

This time of year can be wonderful in many ways, yet it can also be a time of increased stress and anxiety for many.

If you tend to have an anxious brain, you might find that you are constantly writing (and rewriting) to-do lists in an attempt to calm the constantly swirling thoughts in your head. From moving the Elf every night, to shopping for family near and far, to baking everyone’s favorite holiday cookies, the lists might feel like they are never ending.

What do we do with all that anxiety and stress? How do we cope with all the demands that the holidays bring?

Here are a few tips to try out this holiday season:

1. Focus on what really matters

Think about what is important to you and focus on those things. Does it really matter if you have an award winning light show for all the neighbors to see? Think about what you want to spend your time, energy and money on most and do that.

2. Make time to stress less

If you notice that you are constantly thinking or worrying about all the things you have to do, schedule yourself some time to take a break. That could look like watching a lighthearted movie, going for a walk, or taking a yoga class. Be intentional about that time and allow yourself to take a purposeful pause from whatever is stressing you out.

3. Redirect your mind

Our minds like to attach to thoughts and to get swept up into ruminating (thinking the same thought over and over). Instead of giving your mind worrisome thoughts to attach to, try giving it something positive to focus on.

You might try simply focusing on your breath. You could focus on a smell or something you see. Try to think of something you are grateful for or use a positive affirmation. If those don’t help, try observing your thoughts and then imagine the thoughts drifting off into the distance as you let them go.

By focusing on what matters most to you, taking a break and redirecting your thoughts, I hope that you will have a less stressful and more enjoyable holiday season!

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