Holiday Stress Tips

The holiday season can be is a HUGE source of stress for those of us dealing with adrenal fatigue. Finding ways to manage stress during the holidays is a crucial part of your adrenal fatigue treatment plan. These holiday stress tips offer ways to deal with stress that can determine whether you stay on your road to adrenal fatigue recovery, or drive yourself to adrenal fatigue relapse...
Surviving the holidays with adrenal fatigue

Holiday Stress-Reducing Tips:

  • Sit down and make a list of all the things about the holiday that stress you out. It can be little things like not liking to put the lights on the tree, or hearing that annoying "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" song, or more major stresses like missing a loved one or anticipating the usual critical comments from that one snarky relative at dinner. Sometimes, just acknowledging that is enough to relieve some of the stress. It's good to "vent". Don't be brief if something is really upsetting to you, go ahead and let it all out onto the paper (or the keyboard), just as if you were ranting to a friend. This freewriting technique will help you to release some of the tension that you have built up over the issue, and, even though it will come out as a jumble, it may even help you to see things more clearly. Don't forget to use relaxation breathing if you need to!

  • Having a plan is a great holiday stress reliever. Keeping everything in your head is a great way to feel overwhelmed. Make another list, this time of all the things that need to get done for the holidays. What things can you delegate or eliminate? Schedule your to-do's on the calendar, so you have a plan for getting things done. Get it out on paper, onto the calendar, and you will literally feel the weight lift off your shoulders! Once everything has a time and place, you can think about "the next most important thing", and everything else can wait for its turn.
  • If you are a card sender, change from sending Christmas Cards to sending Thank You Notes at Thanksgiving, letting people know how thankful you are to have them in your life, and get that all out of the way before the holiday season even officially opens. This is also good stress-relief therapy as you take time to count your blessings. Write one a day to keep from being overwhelmed.
  • Be willing to say NO to the things you really don't want to do. Even if it's showing up to family dinner. If it is that stressful for you, take this year off. Do something different, or nothing at all. It's not a sacrilege to abstain from any or all holiday celebrations if they cause you to stress out. This year, while you are trying to recover from adrenal fatigue, you need to be especially diligent to guard against overwhelming yourself, and know what your limits are. Stick to them, regardless of what others are going to think, or say. It's okay to say "I literally just can't handle the stress". Don't feel guilty for acknowledging the cause of your stress and doing something to change it!

I know what you're thinking. You've already dismissed the previous idea as being impossible. You read that last suggestion and thought:

"I can't possibly do that, my family would ___________…" 

It's not exactly simple, but give yourself permission to consider the idea for a minute. Once you release yourself from the obligation to participate, it allows you to choose to participate.

 There is an important shift in your thinking here, and it can make a WORLD of difference in your holiday stress management. So important that I'm going to say it again:

Once you release yourself from the obligation to participate,

it allows you to choose to participate.

The christmas season is full of expectations and it really takes on a life of its own. There are so many things that we feel we have to do, many of which have never been deliberately chosen, and many other things are added for us whether we've agreed to it or not, and we feel powerless to control this ever-expanding circus. This is why we need holiday stress tips!

This year, take control. Pull the plug on the chaos, and only add back the things you (and your family) find importance in. Eliminate the clutter. Make this a season of healing and restoration, both physically and mentally. Reject the notion that you have to to participate in ALL of those things, and you may find that you have more joy in doing some of those same things, because now you are free to really want to.

  • Make sure you get enough sleep. Give yourself permission to nap, go to bed early, sleep in--…all of it. If you are not skimping on sleep, you will be better able to handle the added activity of the holiday season. Take care of yourself.

And remember:  These holiday stress tips do not do any good if all you do is read them! You have to put them into practice, or else they're just another list of holiday stress tips...

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