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Do Holidays Cause Stress In Your Life? Here’s How To Cope!

Do Holidays Cause Stress In Your Life? Here’s How To Cope!

The Holidays Cause Stress!

A Time of giving is what we call this season.  Yet, has it become a big hairy ball of STRESS in your own life?  Are you ready to redeem this special time of year and bring back the jolly!?

Emotions and Eating

Emotions are tied to eating and it is not something to fix—until it becomes emotional eating.  Emotional eating is when you are trying to feed something nonphysical.  This does not mean that eating should not evoke pleasure.  Yes, it is ok to enjoy your favorite holiday food! Not only is it ok, I 100% endorse joy in eating.   However, if you are feeling lots of emotions (unpleasant ones) and joy isn’t in there, I suggest a pause.  If your thoughts are “I’ve been waiting all year for a slice of Aunt Sally’s pie!” you are in the joy zone.  When there is a rage going on in your head of “why am I here, why do they always have to pick on me, Oh, please let it be time to go” as you stand by the plate of cookies and mindlessly eat one after another, you are NOT in the joy zone.  You are not even enjoying the cookie!

You are not alone and you are not helpless.  You may feel more vulnerable without the “armor” of a plate or something in your hand.  Fill your cup (goblet, glass) with water and keep it in your hand where ever you roam, sit, or stand.  Eating things that require a great deal of chewing (raw vegetables, fresh fruit, nuts) will keep you from having to speak or answer often.  Family affairs short on such items?  Bring a bag of nuts in the shell (walnuts, pecans) and make it your business to carefully crack and shell these with much attention.  Be prepared with your own set of distractions and leave the plate of drama for others to consume.

Self-care and Spending

Do you feel overworked and want to treat yourself to something “because you deserve it”?  Sure, you do deserve to feel appreciated and rewarded, so learn to value self-care.  Create a few favorite things you can relish and delight in anticipating.  Music or an audio book in your car for the commute, 3 quick fall back meal plans you can rely on when you are late getting home and “hangry”, something physical to work out the tension such as a long walk/run, a punching bag or dancing in the kitchen are ideas to get you going.

Too often, instead of allowing for time to renew (downtime), we spend money in ways that are not useful or even supportive.  You simply cannot repair your stress by purchasing a new shirt.  Drive through food is not going to save you all that time and energy you’ve been convinced of by clever marketing (brainwashing) and it clearly will not support your body nutritionally (no big surprise there). Remember, you are good enough.  You are worth it.  Whatever stress is showing up for you, a quick moment of “I’m thankful for all I have” can be worth $20 to $200! It is actually priceless but I wanted to help you think about it in dollars and cents.  Of course there are appropriate times to spend money as well as time on yourself. Just be sure you are not spending dollars when what you NEED is time.

Give and Get Experiences

Creating Holiday traditions is part of experience and lasts much longer than any toy, trinket or trifle.    When I was younger, we had a family tradition of attending the Nutcracker ballet each season.  There are usually lower price tickets at matinee time that families can take advantage of and this time of day is best for children.  Other ideas for experiences include baking together (and sharing with neighbors), seeing an appropriate holiday movie (this can be one you watch at home each year), playing a holiday soundtrack that you create, giving or receiving a book each year, volunteer to brighten someone else’s Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, etc., sing in a choir or go caroling.  You can give (or receive) an experience by sending passes to a local zoo, museum or amusement.  Giving of your time is even more rewarding. Send a “gift card” of cooking a meal, taking a little one to the park or washing the car. Offering a helping hand is a healthy high!

Be in your life creating special moments from the ordinary.  You are the gift!  What are some of your favorite memories, experiences or gifts from the past?  Use the comment section below to share your own list of favorite things of the season.

New Year, New Look

With the New Year approaching, we are undergoing preparations for a renewal of our website.  We believe these efforts will allow us to serve you better in 2018!  You will still be able to find us at our current address of and we look forward to the continued journey with all of you.  Wishing you a happy healthy holiday from Kingdom Health!




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