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Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

Life is sometimes stressful. For some, the holidays can place a magnifying focus on our stress triggers.

1. Pace yourself.
At holiday time, there’s so much more to be done on top of our already over-taxed (and perhaps over scheduled) lives. And for some reason, we decide that the holidays are the time to bring out our inner combination Martha Stewart/B.Smith. Understandably, we want our holidays to be wonderful for our families and friends. But nothing is perfect. No one can do it all.

2. Set reasonable expectations for yourself.
Truth is, someone is going to be disappointed. The macaroni and cheese will not be cheesy enough ( or not macaroni enough), the turkey will be dry, someone won’t like their gift, Santa won’t bring everything on their list….I could go on. Just do what you can with what you have.

3. Set boundaries.
Family gatherings are usually fun. For some, however, these gatherings require prayer and Xanax. There’s always the “When are you/y’all gonna….” questions. Your relatives mean well. They want for you the happiness that relationships, children, etc., can bring. Or…they are unhappy in their lives and want to amplify your perceived lack of something in your life. Misery does indeed love company. Let them know how their words affect you. They may not have meant offense. Forgive their words- this is more for you than them. If all else fails, avoid them. No one deserves to be bullied.

4. Enjoy this time.
Life can take unexpected turns. Some for the good, some not so much. We never know what the next day, week, month, year will bring. So take this time to enjoy those around you. These may be wonderful memories that you will wrap yourself in later….

Happy Holidays!

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