December 2017

Tips for the Holiday Season
Vera Stark

As the holidays approach the hustle and bustle magnifies and life situations bring with them a lot of stress for most people. You may be overcome by the crowds of people rushing to get there shopping done, or wondering how your going to come up with the money to get the things you want to buy, or how your going to pay for everything once the holidays are over.

Whatever situations you may be faced with during the holidays there will be feelings that arise which encompass a great many emotional experiences. Some of them may be that of joy and happiness while others may include sadness, frustration, stress or loneliness.

These emotions are all perfectly normal to have and there may be times when you don't even know what it is you are feeling, you just know it doesn't feel good. When you are having moments like this there are several things that you can do to alleviate any suffering you may be experiencing.

1. Keep an open mind and know that all things arise as opportunities for us to learn something new. We don't always know and understand why things happen the way they do and letting go of that "Why" isn't always easy. We put so much emphasis on finding the answers, putting ourselves through that agony and most often never finding them. The reason why isn't important. Learn to let go!

2. Do something different than you have done other years. If you have been doing things a certain way every year then do something different. For instance if you have always waited until the last minute to do your shopping then do it earlier this year or perhaps even throughout the year. You may want to exchange gifts or have your holiday dinner at a different time. Rather than sticking to the same routine you get to be more creative in planning your holidays.

3. Visit someone who will be alone. There are always those that spend the holidays alone because they don't have any family or loved ones to be with. Visiting will help to cheer them up and you will feel much happier knowing that you have been able to give someone that gift.

4. Be flexible in your planning. Things never always go as they are planned so be open to changes that may occur. Give yourself some leeway so when things do change you will be able to approach it with ease.

5. Watch a funny movie. Laughter is the best medicine for relieving stress. If you aren't laughing and having fun then you aren't living.

6. Spend time with yourself. There is nothing more relaxing than a hot bath. Put on some soft music, light some candles and be with yourself in the moment. You may also choose to go for a walk to keep you calm and centered.

7. Stop to breath. Breathing is another great way to relax and it also brings you back into alignment. It helps to increase the flow of oxygen which allows your energy to flow more freely. Be sure to stay focused on your breath for maximum results.

8. Ask for help. Rather than doing everything on your own ask others to help you. If your family and friends are coming for dinner be sure to ask them to pitch in and bring something. If you need help with cleaning or running errands then ask. People want to contribute so give them that opportunity.

9. Allow yourself to grieve if you have lost a loved one. If you lost someone close to you give yourself permission to feel the grief that you are experiencing. By trying to suppress it or hide it, you aren't allowing yourself to deal with it. Talk about it with your friends and loved ones and share stories and memories that you have about them.

10. Manage your spending. It isn't the size or the amount you spend on a gift that makes it special. If you have no desire to spend a lot of money over the holidays but think that it will make a difference in the gift that you are giving then refrain from doing so. Give it with love and you will see the joy that even a $5.00 bill will make. It truly is the thought that counts.

11. Reach out to others. Helping others either through volunteering or providing some kind of service will help to lift your spirits and create new relationships. By sharing love and compassion with others you receive love and compassion back. Giving in whatever way that you can will take away the emptiness.

12. Enjoy the preparation. Learn to enjoy the shopping and preparation that you do for the holidays. Rather than looking at it as something you have to do begin looking at it as something you are choosing to do. When we feel we have to do something it becomes a chore rather than a pleasure. You will be amazed at the difference it makes. You can then begin to feel more excited about it.

13. Meditate. This is a very affective way to rest your body, allow stress hormones to subside, and occupy your mind so that unpleasant, stressful thoughts do not intrude. It will help you to become more balanced and able to cope with uncomfortable situations.

14. Be Grateful. Learn to be grateful and enjoy what others have to offer. Thank them for being a part of your life and for everything that they have to share. Make a list of all the things you are grateful for and each day read through it with sincere thanks.

The Holidays are a wonderful time of year. Give the gift of massage or acupuncture to your loved ones. Momentum has gift certificates.

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