Wellness Wednesday - It's the Most Stressful Time of the Year! (And how to deal with it)

The following is a great article from our very own Helene Weber. In it she details some helpful ways to deal with stress during the Holidays. Check it out! - Dave

To continue on with our previous “managing your stress” we spoke about back in August, I would like to focus on how to manage stress during the Holidays.

Family gatherings around Holiday time can be very stressful in many different ways; out of town guests, seeing family you haven’t seen in a while, planning the menu, long hours of cooking, trying to please everyone, and so on.

The purpose of this blog will be to provide you with simple tips on how to best handle your stress.

How do you deal with stress?

Start by following some of these tips, and be proactive against potential stressors.

1.       By anticipating a potentially stressful event or recognizing the development of a stressful situation, you can control the response.

2.       Take a new direction to insure a greater accomplishment. What outcome do YOU want.

3.       Planning ahead and being prepared

4.       Finding an outlet for creativity

5.       Take action, don’t procrastinate

6.       Be confident in yourself

7.       Remaining in control

Sometimes, even in the midst of being proactive, stress can still come, especially in this time of year. So here are other helpful tips to focus on, to help with your stress.

Behavior modification: Many times stress can cause negativity, seeking to change patterns from negative to positive can help immensely. One important thing to remember is that you cannot always change your circumstances but you can change your attitude.

Communication: Odds are you’re going to planning events with other people, and even asking others for help. Understanding how people process information, and being careful to communicate clearly. There are three main ways people process information; auditory, visual, and kinesthetic. If you don’t know how the person you’re talking to processes, seek to use all three methods in your communication.

Dress rehearsals: Often times preparing for the upcoming event will be very helpful. Take a minute to sit down, relax and think through all that happen. You can use this to learn to control your response, prepare for potential confrontations. Also it may help to visualize how you would like to handle potential situations so the outcomes are the way you want them to be.

Focus: As you are preparing take time to focus and celebrate what you have already accomplished rather on what remains to be done. Enjoy the process as you are looking forward to the outcome.

Seeking Simplicity - It is easy to get caught up in doing so many things that we become bogged down with the complicated nature of getting ready for the holidays. Seek ways to make things, life included, simpler.

Stress reduction: Sometimes it is helpful noticing and understanding the origin of stress and stepping out of the situation and observing it from a distance.

Most importantly, don’t let stress build. Deal with the stressors as they present themselves. Take it one at a time. Deal with the greatest stress, then let it go. Deal with the next stress then let it go. And so on and so forth.

If the situation presents itself where you cannot deal with a particular stressor because it involves other people or places, set it aside, make a note, and deal with it when the time is appropriate. Do not let it overwhelm or consume you. Remember to take the path of least resistance because you can.

Remember, you have control over all your thoughts and feelings so you decide to control your stress and not let stress control you!!!

Have a wonderful Holiday season!

Helene Weber