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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Chillax: Top Ten Ways to Alleviate Holiday Stress and Pressure

holiday-rushAbout now, a lot of responsibilities and deadlines may be coming at you. It’s the end of the calendar year for business, for sales, the end of the semester for students, the holidays for many… about the time we hope to kick back and relax, other issues of life are looming. Loved ones may be hyper from stress or excitement.

What’s a person to do? Here are my top ten ways to alleviate stress and pressure as we kick those worries to the curb:

1.  Enjoy holiday foods. Sure, lots of people overeat and over drink this time of year, but allow yourself thmaybe one goodie per day.  Calorically cut back in other areas and step up the activity level to compensate.  (I generally stick with sparkling grape juice as more my style, since I generally need to keep my wits about me….)
2.  Exercise. For you skinny-minnies out there, it’s more than a weight-loss strategy. Physical activity gets the blood pumping and clears the head of cobwebs. Yes, it’s a strain when there are other things to do, but even brisk walking will enable you to handle pressures so much better.

fragrence3.  Sufficient sleep. This is a biggie, doctors and researchers inform us. Without seven to eight hours of quality sleep, we are not functioning at our peak performance. Well, that could explain a lot…! Try a power nap in the afternoon if you must, but this is the only way that parts of our body repair themselves—during sleep.
4.  Breathe in the fragrances of the season— could be the fragrant pine tree brought indoors, the crisp air outside, the Christmas cookies baking, the Hanukkah latkes sizzling. Allow your senses to fully appreciate your environment, even if for a couple of minutes.
5.  Make a to-do list. This is probably #1 for me. So much to handle, so much to juggle. Just break it down into manageable parts. Time for the family.  Time for career.  Time for baking. Time for shopping. Time for hustling and time for relaxing.
6.  Schedule everything and keep a master calendar. Someone in your group putting a date on their th2calendar and you putting an event on your calendar does not count toward coordination. As a matter of fact, it makes you feel efficient… while coming back to haunt you. Coordinate your activities like synchronized swimmers.
7.  Get rid of toxic people – oh well, on the other hand, I guess you can’t kick all family members to the curb, but there are those who try…. Suffice it to say: limit negative interactions whenever possible. Maybe block them from your phone for starts.
8.  Prioritize. Probably the missing part two to your to-do list. Accomplishing random items is good; accomplishing the most important things first is better.
9.  Organize. I just went through bins of gifts, setting apart what goes to each child, along with those things for friends or remote family. That way, we can mail things off before the last minute, or I can enlist others to help wrap gifts that are not intended for them. Same thing can be done in terms of holiday menus, party-planning, decorating. Not everything has to be done THIS minute… or LAST minute….
christmas-candlelight-service10.  Spiritual life. You knew I’d say it and I held myself back from placing it first, but God is the glue that holds everything else together. Pray, read the Bible, gather to worship and encourage others.

Make it the best holiday season ever! In an effort to do this… and accomplish everything else… I will make this blog post stretch for two days instead of one. Ahhhh… chillax!

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