Sugar and Spice Advice on Holiday-induced Stress

Christmas Carolers
Christmas Carolers


How many of you readers can honestly say that
you have ever had a stress free holiday season?
We all know that the holiday season can be
stressful at home and at work. Sometimes it
seems like we have triple the number of things
to accompish than we normally do. We get
invitations to this party or that caroling activity.
There are church activities and Christmas pageants.
And I am sure there are long to do lists, what to
buy for whom lists, and what’s for holiday dinner
lists, etc. The few weeks gearing up for Christmas
and New Year’s can be one non-stop series of activities.
I know when I’m running on empty, I can get a
little, just a very little, bit cranky. Right, family?

But aren’t the holidays meant to be enjoyed with
family and friends? Yes, indeed. So what can be
done to lower the stress and improve the enjoyment
of “the most wonderful time of the year?” (Can’t
you just hear that carol running through your head?)

Think about this. Christmas hymns and carols can be
very calming or even get your blood moving as you
sing some of the peppier tunes. Music playing while
you are baking or wrapping gifts can put you in the
spirit of the season. I have to say that wrapping gifts
for my children and grandchildren, stuffing stockings,
and sorting which candy is for who is an all night
event on Christmas Eve for me. I kid you not. Luck-
ily, we have a radio station here in town that plays
commercial free, non-stop Christmas music all Christmas
Eve and on into Christmas Day. (Thank you, KYXY
Radio.) I get through the night with Christmas music
playing the entire time. Try it. You just might enjoy it.

Try an attitude of gratitude. Did you know that research
has shown that this new mindset will help you improve
your physical health? You will sleep better, and have
lower levels of stress hormones in your blood? Start
now and reap the rewards.

Some stress reduction techniques are: breathing deeply when
the stress begins. Practicing meditation and mindfulness. Think
of a hilarious event or joke and just laugh. Exercise, watch
the amount of junk food and goodies you enjoy (easier said
than done, from my perspective), and cut the alcohol,
smoking, and caffeine.

There are so many fun things to do during the holidays and
many invitations to parties, outings, etc. Your stress level
will go way up trying to meet all the demands. You really
don’t have to do them all and it is okay to say no. No is
a very hard word to use because most of us are afraid we
will hurt someone’s feelings if we decline the invitation. We
feel guilty because we have the mindset that we can and
should do it all.

Here are some tips on how to say no: Be honest. If you are
busy and overextended, simply say so. Stick to the truth
because making up excuses can complicate the situation.
And these made up excuses may come back and bite you in
the bum. People appreciate honesty.

Be gracious. Explain how thankful you are for the opportun-
ity they have extended your way. If asked to do one too many
things let them know that with so little time you don’t think
you can give them the time or quality they deserve.

Consider delegating or trading tasks. Maybe you can recruit
someone to help with a task. Or maybe you can exchange
babysitting, for example, so that each of you can shop in
peace. Sharing responsibilities can ease the burden, but be
sure others don’t feel pressed to say “yes” to you.

Wishing you a wonderful, stress-free holiday season!

Brought to you by Sugar and Spice Designs – makers of fine
soaps, bath salts, unique all occasion cards, and beanies.
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