Emotional stress at holiday time can manifest as pain in the body. So, if you’re worried about having to get together with certain relatives you don’t want to see in person or you’re worried about making sure to buy, wrap and deliver “all the presents to all those people” on time, you might be experiencing low back pain, migraine headaches, etc.
How, then, can you celebrate the holidays without stress? Here’s some advice…
First, simplify your life this month. If you had/have “things to do” for every single day of the month written on your calendar, go through those things and decide which events you can miss. Cross some things off the calendar. If things “come up at the last minute” and you can respectfully decline invitations, do so, because there is such a thing as doing too much in too little time. It’s important to make time to “just chill” this month. Even the Bible advocates people take one day a week to rest.
Next, lower your expectations this season and do less than you usually do. Instead of going “all out” decorating the house, keep it simple. Put up one little table top tree instead of three hulking 6-footers. Suggest the family eat together at a restaurant rather than gather at your place, forcing you to clean, cook, etc. Just send cards to those who send them to you first. Decide to stay home rather than travel far away for get-togethers this year. Hire a plow service/snow shoveler instead of doing it yourself.
Also, minimize time with people you don’t like. If there’s a family get together and Uncle Joe or Aunt Lou drive you nuts talking about politics and religion, plan ahead to have an excuse to leave at a certain time before the discussion turns sour. Or spend time in another room in the house or venue, away from the people who annoy you. And if certain relatives make your blood boil, don’t even attend get-togethers where they’ll be this season!
Finally, and this is some great advice: give yourself permission to not have to be perfect. Sure, you might want to be seen as the person who can do it all, have it all, and post the “picture perfect” scenes on social media, but realize this: nobody’s perfect and you don’t have to pretend you are!
Whenever you feel like the holidays are stressing you out, do something fun to relieve the tension and/or take a nap.