De-Stressing the Holidays

Well, Christmas is finally here. With an unexpectedly busy December, it pretty much snuck up on me. Thanksgiving isn’t the only time of year to be thankful, and this season, I’m thankful for a lot. I’m thankful for you. It’s been a really amazing year, including some crazy medical emergencies and pug-acquiring. That doesn’t mean I’ve totally avoided the annual holiday stress machine. Let’s face it, this time of year can be really stressful. From dodging pepper-spray-weilding “competitive” shoppers to battling road rage and encountering bad (or at least cold) weather, it’s hard for anybody to make it through December without losing that elusive “Christmas”spirit and giving someone the bird.

If you’re planning to hit the roads and see family this weekend, and that usually comes with some stress, I want to offer you a (helpful) challenge: Let it go. If someone cuts you off in traffic, let it go. If you end up doing all of the dishes after dinner while everyone else guzzles eggnog, let it go. And even if no one remembers to get you a present or say “thank you,” let it go. Lastly, if you don’t let it go and you get really upset, let that go, too. Be easy like Sunday morning. It’s a tall order, but letting go of the need to judge (others and ourselves) is the best way I know how to raise our own consciousness, experience more peace and enjoy life more.

After all, when you hang on to anger or self-pity, you’re the one who suffers first. Then it affects those closest to you (and the people you run into with your car). One thing that helps me to “just let go” of things I really, really want to hang on to is remembering some of the good things in my life. After all, I live in America. I haven’t had to wonder if I would eat in any given day or even how I would pay rent. I have a job (I have a couple). There are a bunch of people I care about and a bunch of people who care about me. The list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Emily, the love of my life, and Roscoe and Relvis, the pugs. And when I remember that there’s a huge part of the world that doesn’t enjoy some of those things, it’s hard to stay upset about Aunt Judy eating all of the pudding.

How do you keep stress at bay during the holidays? I’m sure you have some great ideas about how to keep the holiday stress-free and filled with gratitude, so please share on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cakecoaching. Thanks for being who you are. Thanks for reading. Be good to yourself this week. Happy holidays!

Jeff

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