5 Tips to Beat the Stress for a Peaceful Holiday

Posted on

The holidays are a time for laughing, merriment, reuniting with loved ones… stressing over family squabbles, lack of sleep, panicking at the thought of all the gifts you have yet to buy…. What a wonderful season! Well, this year, how about doing things a little differently? Try these 5 easy-to-follow steps and get yourself focused and relaxed so you can enjoy your holiday season!

1. Make a list.

Write down absolutely everything you have yet to do this holiday season. Then, go through the list and read each task out loud. Cross off any tasks that you don’t absolutely HAVE to do and then only keep the “Have to’s” that align with your values. You probably value quality time with your kids over the perfection of your present-wrapping. Honor this.

2. Get your expectations straight.

If every year Aunt June drags you into a corner and chews off your ear with all the latest family gossip, or Grandma Helen says to you for the 57th time, “Now, dear, if you can’t keep a man, how will you give me any grandchildren?”

Don’t expect them to change. What causes a lot of our pain is secretly hoping our family won’t say what they always have or that we can somehow avoid it. Author and teacher Byron Katie says this, “If I had a prayer, it would be this: ‘God spare me from the desire for love, approval, and appreciation.’” Now, this may sound kind of extreme, but imagine what your interactions with relatives would be like if you didn’t need them to approve of you or even change in any way? You’re then free to accept them exactly as they are. That can relieve a lot of stress.

3. Always have a back-up plan.

…Especially if you’re traveling a long distance. Fill your tank with gas before arriving at the relatives (for a quick getaway). And find out ahead of time what your flight options or restrictions are and how much nearby hotels cost. This may sound drastic, but trust me, just knowing that you can get away if you absolutely have to brings about so much relief. You’re no longer trapped. And knowing that gives you freedom to get through almost any situation.

4. Schedule a call (or a beer) with a good friend.

Schedule a short phone call, texting session or a beer with a good friend or buddy. This can even be on the holiday itself. This is not an excuse to vent or complain, but a time set aside to make sure that your priorities are straight and you’re receiving some emotional support. We often think the holidays are all about family, but we need these relationships to keep us encouraged and sane.

5. Write your own rules.

This is the most important tip! Get out a piece of paper and write out your rules for the holiday season. They could go something like this:

Rule Number 1: Have 5 minutes of alone time every day.
Rule Number 2: Have a snowball fight with my family.
Rule Number 3: “Accidentally” break that ugly reindeer mug I received last Holiday season.

Remember, most of the typical holiday traditions were invented by other humans and you’re the one who has been choosing to follow them. Take responsibility and then make a new choice. It may be uncomfortable at first, but you’ll get used to it. Hopefully these tips will help de-stress your holiday and give you a sense of choice, even when things seem out of control. Wishing you a happy (and peaceful) holiday from the Nordaune Real Estate Team.