I truly love the season of the year that includes Thanksgiving and Christmas. I enjoy taking time to celebrate the birth of Jesus and so many other things for which I am thankful. But all of the rush, the shopping, the baking, the overcommitted calendar can soon take over and suddenly I realize that the stress of the season is taking over my life, and suddenly the celebration of Jesus has been masked by the overwhelming to-do list.
Is this true for you as well?
If so, I want to share some of my sanity savers for managing holiday stress. Actually these are my sanity-savers for managing stress all through the year!
I pray you will find them helpful for you as well.
Eat a healthy diet. Fueling your body with foods that will increase your energy and improve your moods is vital this time of year. You’re likely to be surrounded by plenty of
junk yummy pies and other sweets. Be sure you eat lot of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and high fiber foods, too. A quick 3-day juice fast will do wonders to detox your body of all the junk you may be eating.
Get a good night’s sleep. Late night baking, shopping, and gift-wrapping will take it’s toll on your ability to manage stress. During the sleep cycle, your body repairs itself and you will feel more rested after several hours of restorative sleep. In turn, you’ll be better able to manage your stress. Most people need eight hours a night which varies within an hour or two each way.
Exercise on a consistent basis. Exercise helps you to use oxygen more efficiently. It helps to get more oxygen to the brain. It also increases focus which may help you see solutions to problems rather than simply worrying about them.
Take time out to be quiet. Taking a few minutes to connect with your Creator everyday with prayer can work wonders in the fight against stress, as can spending time in His Word.
Be grateful. Gratitude helps take your mind off what is stressing you and move it to your blessings. Remember the reason for the season is Jesus — not shopping, cooking or even entertaining. I would love for you to download my Grateful Journal for 2016 to start you on your way to recording your blessings.
Manage the stress immediately. When you feel your pulse start to quicken, count backwards from ten. As you count, focus on the situation at hand. What is really going on? Resist the urge to read anything more into the situation and instead focus on what is actually happening around you. If the situation requires action, then do something about it rather than stewing over it.
Enjoy a little aromatherapy. Using essential oils such as ylang ylang and lavender is known to help bring about calm. Peppermint will help relieve head pain caused by stress. Diffuse essential oils, dilute and rub them on your pulse points and spine, or wear diffusing jewelry with some of your favorite scents to help manage your stress.
Find some relaxing activities. Stress can rob you of your energy. Take time to do something you like such as painting, reading, drinking a warm cup of tea, or listening to music. I am a huge fan of adult coloring books and Bible journaling. I’m currentlly working in Live Loved, a beautiful book by Margaret Feinberg that combines coloring with journaling and Scripture.
Stress can come into your life at any time. It’s normal, especially during the holidays. If you feel your stress is starting to take over your life or increasingly causing you problems, act quickly to diffuse it.
Don’t let the stress of the season rob you of the joy of the season.