How to Ease Your Holiday Anxiety

A while back, I wrote a blog entitled, The Hurrier I Go, the Behinder I Get. Does that sound like you? Especially during this holiday season? There are so many things that must be done in such a short amount of time. Cleaning and decorating alone, can be very time consuming. Writing and sending cards, planning parties, meals, preparing for visitors, gift buying/making, wrapping, sending/giving, the list goes on. And it seems there is always something that will put us behind schedule, an illness or accident, for instance. Unexpected “somethings” abound. Eeeeeeek!

I’m going to play “mommy” for a minute and remind you of something you already know. Obstacles are going to bar your way. It’s how you handle them that helps you keep your sanity. That’s a short sentence, but it’s packed with importance.  And worrying does not take away tomorrow’s troubles; it takes away today’s peace. Here are a few pointers I’d like to share that just might ease your emotional load.

First of all, this is a season that reminds us to be peaceful and to love others and enjoy this time. With that in mind, I find it helpful to have holiday music playing while I attempt some of the chores ahead. Making a short list of three or four items and checking them off as I progress, and then making another short list on another piece of paper underneath the first one keeps me from being overwhelmed and checking off items makes me feel like I’m getting somewhere. It helps being determined not to let frustrations enter my mind by making an adventure out of some tasks that would ordinarily be mundane or even aggravating. Treating myself  to a cup of hot chocolate, apple cider or special tea, boosts my spirit and reminds me why I am toiling away, to make this holiday special for someone else, and has the benefit of making the holiday special for me, as well.

If you have family members to whom you can delegate, let them help you. Note: They may not do things exactly as you would, but if they are willing to help, let them do things their way and be grateful for that help. Perfection should NOT be insisted upon. Praise them for their efforts. (I’ve seen arguments develop over this tip.)

If you are still having anxiety, put everything in perspective. In your mind ask these questions. A year from now, will I, or anyone else, remember how stressed out I was during this season? Is that a good thing? In five years, will I, or anyone else remember how stressed out I was during this season? In ten years, will I, or anyone else remember? In thirty years, will I even be here? Will anyone even remember ME? If so, how will they remember me? If you are a young person, you can extend this perspective example.

If all else fails and everything threatens to be too much, simplify. Take a deep breath. Try to relax. Remember the reason for the season, and with love in your heart, have a Merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous New Year!

14 Comments

Filed under How To, life, musings

14 responses to “How to Ease Your Holiday Anxiety

  1. As a person who worries about everything even when it is not holiday time–I even worry about worrying– thank you. I needed this reminder.

    • So glad, mrp55, my reminder helped. I have to remind myself sometimes, that one can only do so much. Faith that all will work out in the end is important. Worry serves no purpose. It only makes us, and those around us miserable. Relax, take a deep breath and have faith. Everything will be all right. Happy holidays!

  2. Coco, maybe you can offer some suggestions. I have this friend who is a publisher and he has been trying frantically to get 30 new books in print before Christmas. He’s about halfway there, but he keeps running into unexpected problems–technical glitches mostly. His stress level is just through the roof. How can I help this poor guy?

    • My sympathies to your friend, Mike. I certainly know how glitches can play havoc on scheduling. My advice for right now for your friend, is to do the best he can and have faith all will get done. For the future, perhaps his goals were too ambitious to start with, and he should analyze his timelines by going through past records to see how long past publications took and reset more realistic goals. Glitches will always be there to slow things down, and allowing for them makes goals easier to reach and nerves less frazzled. Hard work, faith and prayer should all be equal. I’ll certainly pray for your friend this Christmas season. Blessings to you for being such a good friend. The Hebrew word shalom means more than our English word, peace. It means the kind of peace that comes from being whole–body, mind and spirit. Shalom to your friend. Merry Chistmas and a happy new year.

  3. Pat Gordon

    Hi Coco, Thank you for sharing your very helpful thoughts. I prepare a To-Do List all year around, not only at Christmastime, which keeps me on track.

    Wishing you a Blessed Christmas, Pat

    • Ah, ha, Pat. You’re a list maker! So am I. Lists are especially helpful to me since I’m getting older and forgetting things happens more frequently. Life is so much simpler with lists. Ha!

      Thanks for your comment. It’s a good one!

      I wish you a blessed Christmas, too.

  4. I’m behind with (almost) everything. And my Mum has just arrived from England. Luckily Mum’s behind me in (almost) everything, so between us we’ll catch up. If we don’t, we’ll bump into each other and hug.

  5. Suzanne Baginskie

    Great advice, Coco. Count me in as a list maker too. I want to mention one problem we also avoid in Florida is the winter of ice, sleet and snow. I pity the northerners who have to do all the holiday shopping, wrapping and decorating and still travel in the horrible temps and outdoors. Living in the south has its benefits. We can hop into the car and never have to shovel our driveway or put on snow tires. So enjoy the wonderful season in our beautiful Florida weather. Think positive and you’ll get it all done.

    • Yes, Suzanne, we here in the south are lucky we don’t have to deal with harsh weather conditions. Even though I miss seeing snow, I’m glad I don’t have to shovel, drive and be slowed down by it. This time of year, there’s always a Christmas movie that will help me recall wonderful snowy memories. Merry Christmas and a very happy new year!!! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  6. Thanks for the lovely reminder that I need to chill out and have fun this holiday season! Merry Christmas to you and yours, Coco.

  7. Yvonne

    Coco,
    Great topic, and what I remember as the years pass. Is the time spent with family, friends, and loved ones. Especially those who are gone. To me the season is about love, a time of sharing, forgiveness and charity. These are the gifts I cherish most. Merry Christmas to all and Have a Happy New Year!

    • You are absolutely right, Yvonne! It’s so easy to get wrapped up (no pun intended) in the season’s commerciality and forget the true basics of what Christmas is all about. I too wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy 2014! Thank you for your valuable comment. Cheers!

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