'Tis the season for emotions. Preparing for the festivities can send you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, which leave you feeling exhausted, scattered and far from the true spirit of the season.
Women tend to be the ones who are “in charge” - shopping, cooking, baking, wrapping, organizing, inviting; the list goes on and on. All these duties and only 24 hours in a day? It's no wonder that the body releases a cascade of stress hormones. Perhaps you're feeling flight, fight or freeze? You might even fluctuate between them during this ramped up gotta-get-it-all-done-perfectly season.
If you can switch to positive emotions such as a sincere feeling of gratitude, you alter the toll that stress takes on you - physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
When the whole system operates in a balanced way, you can think and respond more appropriately - in a way that is more fitting with the meaning behind this season of celebration.
Imagine navigating through the holidays as if you were going on a road trip, as many of you will likely be doing. What would you require to assist you on your journey?
Consider this your plan, ensuring that you will get to your destination by the most direct route. This doesn't mean that there is no room for a detour if one should strike your fancy.
Prior to going out to run errands and do your shopping, create a list. Let it sit for a few hours because you may have more to add. Then, plan out your route, including the one in the mall, which will allow you to conserve energy and time.
If you're not sure about what to get someone, there are many gift lists on the internet, such as my Gift Suggestions for Loved Ones with Rheumatoid Arthritis. There are some suggestions on this list that would also be suitable for seniors and people with mobility issues.
To help you with future gift-giving ideas, cultivate the habits of listening well and of observation. Undress your stress and you'll hone this skill - stress often distracts, so you'll miss those clues that lead you to the perfect gift for a family member or friend.
As high octane and nutritious as possible. You want to keep your blood sugar levels consistent, so a handful of nuts or some other source of protein, eaten in moderation, and some fresh fruit is a good choice. Avoid those mid-afternoon crashes.
This is crucial for keeping your engine running smoothly. Don't let headaches caused by dehydration dampen your holiday preparations. Also, consider restricting caffeine to the early morning hours.
Take time to recharge your batteries and do something to clear the fog. Try a short walk, singing or a cat-nap. Do some stress techniques. Listen carefully, your body will tell you what you need.
Why not make the journey as memorable as the destination? Travel well.
In the spirit of giving, why not gift yourself with joy, peace and calm? More importantly, when you do, you positively affect the lives of your loved ones.
Send me an email to find out how I can help you address and undress your stress.
A modified version of this article was originally published in the December 2007 newsletter of the Valley Women's Network.