Blog contributed by Dr. Metropoulos.
The holidays are a time of socializing, enjoying festive food and drink , and helping a certain bearded fellow meet the expectations of wide eyed children. While all of these aspects make the holidays enjoyable, it can be stressful when added onto an already busy life, such as the kind most women lead today. So if asking Santa for less stress hasn’t worked in years past, why not take a different approach this year?
Much like the holiday song, Let It Snow, this season try making Let It Go, your mantra. Having a positive thought to focus on can help center and calm you in the midst of the holiday chaos. When you realize our being pushed to your limits, stop, take a few deep breaths and just repeat, Let it go, Let it go, Let it go.
Managing stress can also be aided by having realistic expectations. Many women, myself included, try to be superheroes, especially at the holidays. We try to buy all the presents, bake all the goodies, cook all the meals and decorate the house, all in hopes of providing a “perfect” holiday for those we love. While the intent of these actions comes from a good place, it can cause us to suffer and in the end that can negatively affect our loved ones, those who we started doing all these stressful things for. Ask yourself, will the holiday be ruined if I don’t make that extra pie? Will my loved ones suffer if I don’t have put all the decorations up this year? Focus on the important traditions and give yourself permission to let the rest go.
Family squabbles can add stress as well. A snide remark about someone’s weight or a question about when you are going to get married or have a baby, can raise anyone’s ire. Having a clear focus on the occasion and realizing that the goal of the holidays is to enjoy yourself, should lead you to let it go. Let go of the remarks, the animosities and any bad feelings and just seek the good in the season.
In the end, holidays are about enjoying yourself, enjoying time with family and friends and making new memories. Learning to manage stress will enable you to have a happy and healthy holiday season and new year to come.
So repeat after me, Let it go, Let it go, Let it go.