Sunday, December 7, 2008

Monday's Tip: It's the holidays-why can't we all just get along?

Dear Dr. Josh,

My husband never helps with the Christmas decorations- he just sits on the couch and watches TV- I hate that- what should I do?

Dear Dr. Josh,

My in-laws are coming for the holidays and they drive me nuts - what should I do?

Dear Dr. Josh,

 My sister is bringing her children for the holidays and they are spoiled brats- they are out of control and make fun of my kids- what do I do? 

Dear Dr. Josh,

If I buy gifts for everyone in my family, and the people at work, and my friends I’ll be in huge debt-- but I have to get something for them- what do I do?

And the list goes on and on and on!! It’s supposed to be the most joyous time of the year- but for so many of us it seems to turn into one of the most stressful times of the year.

We’re supposed to be happy and blissful, so why are so many people out there shopping till they are exhausted, arguing over the decorations, dreading the fifteen office parties they have to attend? What’s wrong?

The holidays are a strange thing they are supposed to be wonderful but very often we feel stressed during the holidays, and then we feel stressed that we feel stressed when we should feel good- and that only makes us more stressed!! 

This is a vicious, cycle. That happens really for two reasons- the holidays are a time when our d routines are thrown out of wack and our expectations of what the holidays should be very often set us up for failure.

So here are some simple tips for keeping stress in check:

1. Be realistic about the holidays. The holidays don’t’ have to be perfect to be joyous. If you expect perfection- you’ll be disappointed.

2. Cut yourself a little- slack- its ok to feel stressed, or angry or sad during the holidays. You don’t have to be happy the whole time.


3. All things in moderation- too much shopping, too many parties, and too many added holiday responsibilities will only make you more nervous, anxious and stressed.  Keep things in moderation by prioritizing- you can’t do it all- so make a list of everything you think you need to do and then read it out loud- if the list sounds impossible- start crossing things off until you feel you can handle it.

4. Finally take care of yourself during the holidays you need to eat right, sleep, and exercise.  You must make time for yourself. . Being sick and stressed will not make the season brighter.

We all want the holidays to be a joyous time. By having realistic expectations and not overextending, you will keep your stress levels in check.

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