As we enter the home stretch of the 2009 holiday season, now is the time to step back (again) take a deep breath and regroup! The holiday season is considered one of THE most stressful times of the year. Here’s why: This is the time of year that is filled with expectations, many of which go unmet (this means that tempers become raw and buttons are easily pushed). It’s also a time of control dramas. These include the perpetual reenactment of family dramas from childhood (this means added, often latent, tension at family gatherings, but let us not forget office or work environments which mirror family dynamics). Combine these aspects with impatient store customers (and clerks), rude drivers, bad weather, financial stress, great Christmas music (and perhaps some really bad Christmas music) played to death in stores and several more aspects too numerous to mention and you have the potential for a textbook definition of holiday stress. All is not lost, however—or even jaded! Step back, take a deep breath (perhaps two or three), and relax for a moment. With a calm mind, restablish healthy boundaries, and remember to open your heart and show kindness to everyone, no matter how they treat you.
• Stress Tip of the Day
There is no law that says Christmas cards have to be written and sent before Christmas. There is no commandment that states friends and family have to receive gifts (sadly, this holiday has been hijacked by consummerism!) This is a holiday season about love in our hearts and light in the world. If you can remember these two things while you wrap up this week’s final errands you will be doing good. If you can practice these two behaviors, you will be doing great and contributing to both inner peace and world peace, perhaps the greatest gift of all.
• Movies Worth Noting:
There are several movies to watch at home this week to inspire the Christmas spirit:
My favorite is, It’s a Wonderful Life, but there are many others including Love, Actually. The Holiday, The Muppets Christmas, and Joyeux Noel. Enjoy!
• Photo of the Day:
Even Santa can have a bad day. This photo/cartoon was sent to me by a friend who begged to have a blog entry on holiday stress. For her and all of you gnashing your teeth about now….Smile… This one’s for you.
• Quote for the Day:
“God bless us all, everyone one.”
—Tiny Tim (Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol)
Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D. is an internationally renowned expert in the fields of stress management, mind-body-spirit healing and stress and human spirituality. He is the author of over 10 books including the bestsellers, Stand Like Mountain, Flow Like Water, Stressed Is Desserts Spelled Backward, The Art of Calm, Quiet Mind, Fearless Heart and Managing Stress (6E). He can be reached through his website:www.brianlukeseaward.net
© Brian Luke Seaward, Ph.D.