By Dr. Jim Langley,
St. Raphael Counseling
Baked turkey, fried turkey, or smoked turkey? Can’t decide? Do all three! Black Friday sales, office parties, school plays, Christmas lists, Christmas shopping, Christmas Eve (at your parents), Christmas Day (in-laws this year), and … Christmas bills. You’re overstretched, overwhelmed, and probably overweight too!
But does it really have to be this way? What if your holiday season was what you always wanted it to be—joyful, peaceful, and full of memories you’ll cherish forever? Maybe the problem isn’t so much that you’re not doing enough, but because you’re doing too much. Take a look at these five ways to destress during this most wonderful time of the year:
- Give back. Our anxiety is often due to the fact that we’re too focused on ourselves. It is paradoxical, but true, taking time to get outside of ourselves and living in another’s shoes even just for a few hours helps us forget about our own worries for a while. Need an idea? Check out Adopt-a-Family or volunteering to serve a Christmas meal at Samaritan House.
- Don’t keep up with the Joneses. The commercials tell us that we need to get the perfect gift for that special someone. And all of your kids. And pretty much everyone we know. Of course, gift-giving is part of the fun of the season, but remember what is truly important. Try setting a budget and sticking to it … your 2019 bank account will thank you!
- Go on a special date.This time of year, we spend time with those we love, but it is often connection with our spouse that suffers! Take time to reinvest in the marriage by taking advantage of the many opportunities around Denver like the Blossoms of Light at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
- Get some rest. Late night parties and early Christmas mornings can throw off your sleeping habits. Go ahead and budget in some extra sleep this year. Sleeping in on a Saturday morning or a relaxing evening in can go a long way.
- Learn to say ‘no’.There truly are more parties to go to, cookies to bake, people to see, and presents to buy than you really have time for. Make a list of the most important things, especially traditions and relationships. Remember, when you say “yes” to one thing you might not really want to do, you’re saying “no” to something else that might be more important. Remember last 2018’s New Year’s resolution where you committed to being less stressed? There is still time to reach your goal!