Stress and the Holidays

It seems as if it is always the same every year, no matter how well we plan, the holidays sneak up on us and wham, we get stressed.  Here’s the funny thing, the dates don’t change, we all talk about how we dislike the decorations before Halloween, Christmas music before Thanksgiving and don’t even get me started about the traffic despite Amazon’s business up a million percent.

So here are a couple of thoughts, maybe it is too late for this season, but tuck these ideas away for next year. 

Gifts:  After 9/11 and losing a parent the only thing I wanted was time to spend with friends and family.  I make time to get together with friends over tea, coffee or lunch and enjoy and reflect on our friendships and the gratitude that comes from it. 

Buying just to be buying? I know those pre-made gift baskets look great and everyone should get one, but what do they really need?  A bottle of wine, some homemade cookies or something that was made with love from your kitchen is magical. If you are not handy in the kitchen or the craft room, we have friends that always send an ornament.  I leave them up all year long in various parts of the house.  If you come over in July you will see a Christmas tree hanging on the French doors.  The other wonderful gift is giving of your time.  Helping a friend with babysitting, hanging out with an elderly friend or helping them with errands. Raking your neighbors leaves because you know they are piling up and the neighbors are out of town, someone is ill, or they are super busy.  If this is the first Christmas a friend is spending after a loss, writing something special about their loved one and putting in a frame for them is a beautiful treasure and means so much more than a pair of slippers.

Taking the stress out of shopping by simplifying your gifts. As an owner of a yoga studio I always think a gift card for yoga classes that will release stress is the very best gift! J

Another way to reduce the stress is simply to choose not to be so busy.  It is okay to pick and choose your holiday parties.  I know some of you don’t want to hear that and to others it is music to your ears. The more you go, go, go, the more tired you become and eventually wear down and get sick.  So who cares if you decide to get your PJ’s on early on a Friday night and watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” or my favorite,

“Love Actually” (for the 100th time) Give yourself a gift, the gift of being peaceful, mindful and reflecting on the season at hand. Whatever your beliefs are and whatever you celebrate, being mindful is universal, showing gratitude and love is what it is all about.    Then you can have a few extra moments to reflect on the year that is coming to a close and plan how you want to start the new year. (That is next week’s blog, stay tuned)

G Pivirotto