3 Simple Steps to Alleviate Stress Over the Holidays

  • Added:
    Dec 12, 2013
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3 Simple Steps to Alleviate Stress Over the Holidays Photo by Josee  Smith

As wonderful as the holidays are, it can also be a stressful time of year. By following these 3 simple steps you'll be in a better position to ease the stress and maximize the pleasure of the holiday season.

Step #1 Identify Your Stressors: Be Specific

One of the best ways to manage stress in your life is to first become aware of exactly what it is that causes you stress. When you can name the stressor, you can take the necessary steps to minimize or eliminate it. When identifying what stresses you, be as specific as possible. In other words, instead of writing down the word, "work", write down what it is about work that causes you stress:

  • Miscommunication with coworkers
  • Feeling unequipped to tackle a new project
  • Balancing work and the needs of your family

When you are specific in naming your stress, you have taken an important first step to taming the stress. Being specific helps you make clearer decisions about what you can do to reduce your stress.

Step 2: Choose What to Tackle and What to Release

When facing a stressful time, it can be very helpful to categorize and prioritize the things that are causing your stress. There are two critical questions to ask yourself when doing this:

In this situation, is it a high priority or a low priority?

Is it easy to change or difficult to change?

When you ask yourself these questions: high priority or low priority, able to change or difficult to change? you can determine where it's best to put your time and energy.

Not every issue or situation is worth the attention we give it; sometimes we stress over things that really don't matter, or things we can't change. These questions will help you decide which problems deserve your attention and which ones don't, so you can spend your energy accordingly.

Step 3: Change the way you see stress

Over the holidays it's quite common for many women to experience environmental stress. This is the type of stress you can do absolutely nothing about other than how you respond to it.

This includes things like the weather - too much rain, too little rain. Too hot, too cold. It also includes things like traffic jams, highway construction, green lights turning yellow, then red right before you get through them.

It includes long lines at the grocery store, the post office, or the airport security. 

There is not much you can do about environmental stressors, so it's best to let go of the hold they have on you. It truly is best for you not lose your energy to things that you can do absolutely nothing about.

One way to do that is to reframe a stressful situation and see it with a perspective of gratitude. For example, instead of being overwhelmed by piles of laundry, you can say to yourself, "I'm so fortunate to have all these clothes to wear." Or when you are stuck in the slowest line at the grocery store, you can look at your cart full of food and remember to be grateful that you can buy what you need.

By letting go and reframing the experience, you'll find that you can take environmental stress in stride.

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You'll find other strategies and techniques on how to alleviate stress in the FREE Holiday Stress Relief gift package. Check out the special offer to find out more.

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