As the holiday season approaches, you may be filled with
excitement and enthusiasm. Or
just the opposite, you may be filled with anxiety and exhaustion.
If you have a holiday schedule like most people, it's filled
with events you should attend and events you'd like to attend.
Here are some suggestions to cope with the extra holiday
pressures that you and your loved ones may be feeling.
Effective family communication is a coping resource not to be
overlooked. The hectic pace of the holidays and our changing schedules
can result in ineffective communication with those whom we most need
to be communicating with.
Effective communicating requires families to listen to each
other. Focus on the
speaker. Be open to
hearing and respecting what the other person is saying.
Repeat what has been said to you to be sure that what you heard
is what the other person said. Finally
be open to not only the spoken word but also to the underlying
Decide which holiday traditions have
true meaning for you and your family and which ones you keep because
Which social activities are fun?
Which ones do you attend because you feel obligated?
Which gifts did you like shopping for and giving and which
ones did you feel required giving?
Look at your lists. Eliminate those traditions that are done
out of habit rather than because they have meaning. Eliminate social activities that you do not enjoy.
When you are faced with an activity that you would like to
eliminate and cannot, adjust your thinking and find a way to make it
fun. Develop a
gift-spending budget and stick to it.
If you feel like there's so much to do that it's hard to get to
sleep . Learn to relax! Give yourself some quiet time.
Buy some relaxation tapes or do some visualization.
Imagine yourself on a tropical beach, listen to the waves, feel
the wind on your face, and the sun warming you.
Or, try taking a warm bath before bed.
One of the best ways to deal with holiday stress is to find
humor in things. Tell a funny story about yourself; learn to laugh
with your family. Laughter
helps us let go of the tension from our bodies and minds.
(Submitted by Army Community Service.)