How To Kick Holiday Stress

fullsizerenderThe Holidays can bring a mix of emotions as well as be very stressful for some. I have personally talked to many people who are dealing with the stress of the Holidays and are in need of answers on how to fix it!

This week I hopped on the phone with Berenise Lemus who is a LCSW at The Center for Healthy Living in Orange and Kaiser Permanente Orange County. We talked for a good 2 hours about how things from the Elf on the Shelf, running around town to find the perfect gift, decorating, work, time with family and taking care of yourself can cause stress. Thanks to her I was able to round up a few tips on how to approach this Holiday season and make it less stressful and more enjoyable for all.

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Physical Self-Care

People really don’t consider Physical Self-Care as something that can remove stress from your life during the holidays.   However, it plays a big part. Remembering you matter during the holidays is key! We can get lost in the hustle and bustle and lose track of our daily routines. Those daily routines are the things that help us to stay positive and keep us in our daily routines.  Example: Eating habits, Exercise, Sleep, Vitamins, Grooming, etc.  For me, even if I know I am going to work from home I will get up as if I am going in to the office as this keeps me in routine.  This prepares me for the day and gets me in the right state of mind, and ready to accomplish what I have set out to do.

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 Emotional Self-Care

This can be hard for anyone at any age. During the Holidays there is so much pressure to keep up with everyone around us. Everyone lives a different life style, and they handle every situation differently.   If you have emotional stress in your life this can lead and cause other things in your physical and mental make up.  Doing things that keep you happy and you enjoy are great ways to prevent emotional stress.  A big key to this is knowing when and how to say no if you are feeling overwhelmed.  Remember you can only push yourself so far and sometimes you just have to put yourself first.

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Financial Self-Care

When we are in control of our money we can enjoy the seasons more and special occasions as well.  This allows us to focus on people not money.  A habit my husband and I have started is shopping early.  As early as the beginning of the year we have people in mind when it comes to birthdays and the following holiday season.  Another big key to your financial care is one setting a budget and two, sticking to it.  The sooner you realize the holidays are not about money, or who bought the nicest gifts, the better you will feel (stress free) and the more enjoyable the holidays will be.

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Social Self-Care

This is plain and simple. Keep your inner circle tight. Someone once told me that they would rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies and this stuck with me over the years. Time is short and goes fast especially around the Holidays.   Unfortunately, the holiday season can sometimes put you in awkward situations with individuals, especially family.  This can cause stress and large amounts of anxiety for some during the holidays.  Just remember to take a deep breath and focus on what is most important.

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 Community Self-Care

‘Tis the season to give. I don’t know if you guys know, but my parents are Pastors in OC. Throughout the year we partner with multiple organizations to give back and help those in need.  This is especially true during the holidays.  I personally think it’s very important to find a place to partner with in your local community. When you are able to give and bless someone else it is a feeling like no other. Not to mention you are doing your part to help your local community as well.  Giving back is something that you can do as an individual or as a family. This year we took Harper and donated toys to a local children’s hospital. This is a tradition that I would like to continue every year with Harper. It is always important to reflect and be thankful for that which you have, but it is even more important to do all you can to help others.

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Career Self-Care

Raise your hand if you are a working parent! This can be stressful any day of the week but is extremely stressful around the Holidays. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves this time of year. We feel the need to be on our A-Game at work as well as at home. After working all day and walking in the door we want to be present with our family and enjoy these times as they go quick. We need to understand our strengths and potential. If we do this while we are at work, this will help us achieve our goals and let us enjoy our work while doing so. Doing this will help us reduce stress and enhance our quality of everyday life during the work day and once we get home.

 

Remember we can help prevent stressful situations in our life. We cannot neglect ourselves during this time of year or any day of the year for that matter. If we feel a bit overwhelmed, don’t be ashamed to take a minute for you. You can visit http://www.kp.org/listen for a great “relax recess” from your day. I highly recommend you check this out as it will help you throughout your day.

Also something else to take note of. Stress is a physical and mental response to a challenge in your day or life. Everyone has different views and different challenges in their life, so a fix for you may not work for someone else.  Something that may be easy for you, may be hard for someone else. Stress looks different on everyone.

For more information, visit http://www.kp.org/orangecounty

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