picjumbo.com_HNCK2763For the past couple of weeks, we’ve talked about the importance of reducing stress in our lives. Multiple studies have shown that stress can have a profound impact on our daily lives, our relationships, and our health. Stress is so powerful, that some studies suggest the effects can even be passed down through generations.

Ask anyone what one of the most stressful times of the year is and they are bound to open their eyes wide and sigh, “The Holidays.” It is true there can be many extra triggers during this festive season. From longer to-do lists to prepare for the holidays, to extra time commitments, to worrying about finances, to family tensions; it can all be a lot to handle. A helpful article at KidsAreForKeeps.com suggests that the best way to deal with this upcoming stress is to be proactive, rather than reactive. The first step is recognizing that there are going to be stressful times ahead. That way you can prepare yourself for a successful holiday season. The following tips should help you tackle nerve-racking triggers head-on, and maintain control over your stress levels.

Visualize a peaceful holiday experience.

Visualization is an important tool in stress-relief. If you can picture a stress-free holiday season ahead of time, you may be easier for you to take steps to create that environment. Consider the people who you would like to spend this time with, and what activities would be most conducive to a happy, relaxing experience.

Planning and communication can go a long way.

Creative a holiday schedule can help make your peaceful vision come to life. Bring anyone involved in on the conversation, and use this time before the holidays to decide upon locations, menus, activities, and who is doing what. If everyone can agree (or get as close to it as possible) ahead of time, your holiday is more likely to be squabble-free.

Perspective is important.

Managing expectations is important at any time of year, but especially around the holidays. Be realistic with your vision of your holiday season, and remember, the festive triggers will only be relevant for a month or two.

Keep your daily life as stress-free as possible.

Your own stress level is hard enough to keep track of, let along that of your entire family. Take the time to focus on your daily stress-relieving routines such as deep breathing, meditation, exercise, and enjoying the outdoors.

The best way to manage these stressful times is to get ahead of it and take control. By spending the extra time following the above suggestions, you can help to make your and your families holidays much more enjoyable! Happy Holidays, everyone!

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