Having a stress free holiday

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from DL Counseling.    
Having a stress free holiday!
It’s the beginning of the Holiday season and with the holidays comes   stress. Each year we feel a mix of joy and anxiety when we approach the days   before thanksgiving. The Holidays can bring stress starting in November and   going straight thru till the new year. We feel a mix of stress related to   financial costs of the holidays, family coming to stay and the conflicts it   brings, The stress of being single or newly divorced, the stress of trying to   have the perfect meal and holiday. If your one of those people who feel the   holiday blues, here are a few tips to help you through the stress and anxiety   of the holidays.
1. Remember what the holidays are really about – spending quality time   with family, friends and loved ones. It’s about giving love and joy to others.   Watch your expectations – make sure they are realistic. We try for perfection   at the holidays and we tend to forget what the holidays are really about.   Remind yourself that the holidays are about being close to your loved ones   everything else come second.
2. Take care of you – during the busy holiday season we forget about   ourselves. We worry so much about setting a nice table, buying and cooking the   food, decorating the house, buying the presents, etc. We forget to take a time   out and spend some quiet time alone. Make sure to put yourself on your   priority list and put yourself high up on the list. If we aren’t feeling   mentally, physically and emotional healthy, how we will be able to have a good   holiday. The more time you put aside for you the healthier and happier you   will feel this holiday season.
2. Pay it forward – I have a friend who is single during the holidays and   instead of worrying about it, she fills up her time with helping others. For  the holidays join a local charity and help with serving dinners, dropping off   presents and giving hugs. Every time we do a random act of kindness we help others while helping ourselves. Random acts of kindness give a boost of   happiness that lasts 24-72 hours. Spread the joy!
3. Socialization – being social is the number one factor of happiness. The best way to enjoy the holidays is go out and enjoy yourself. Set up time   to be with family and friends. Don’t avoid holidays parties because your   single.
4. Take care of you – make sure to do something special for you! Buy   yourself a gift. Take a class, learn a new language, get a massage, etc. Do something that makes you feel special.
5. Change your perspective – happiness is how you see it. If you choose   to think that being single means you cant enjoy the holidays then that’s   exactly what will happen BUT if you go into the holiday season with a positive   attitude, it will make the holidays even better. Your happiness during the   holidays is never dependent on anyone else but you. Make the holidays about   spending time with loved ones – family and friends.
3. Seasonal disorder – this is just another issue that can affect people   during this stressful time. If you know that the cold weather and shorter days   affects you and causes you to have negative moods then do some preventive   work. Talk to your doctor about options, seek counseling before the change of   weather and holidays start, set up a support system to help when your feeling down, invest in light boxes and plan a vacation to a warm destination ( this will give you something to look forward to).
4. Start early – before the holidays season is in full swing start making your things to do lists, start your holiday shopping early this way when the   holidays approach your not scrambling for presents. Start early – buy    wrapping paper, holidays cards, etc. Be preventive.
5. Ask for help. There is no reason why you have to do everything on your   own.  Delegate this holiday season. Ask each person who is coming to   prepare a dish or a dessert. Make your holidays not about the cooking but more   about the socializing. If everyone brings a dish this will make your shopping   and cooking much easier. Don’t feel guilty about it. Each year have everyone   make it a point to help each other so everyone can enjoy the holidays. This   can also be a great way to clean up after the holidays. Delegate the clean up   from the dishes to vacuuming the house. If everyone chips in, it won’t be so bad.
6. Be up front financially – tell family and friends what you can and   can’t do early on. If you know this will be a tough financial holiday season   then recommend other options such as: Buying for the kids only, a grab bag,   the charity option – everyone gives to a charity ( whatever they can afford)   instead of a gift or learn from our children – homemade gifts!
7. Gratitude – this is the time of year  that we should spend more   time counting our blessings, remembering what we have instead of worrying   about what we don’t. Instead of “Keeping up with the Jones”, take a minute to   appreciate the abundance of love, health  family and friends. Don’t focus   on your relationship status, focus on all the good things in life: Good   relationships with family and friends, health and wellbeing, a full schedule of social activities that involve lots of smiling and laughing, etc.
8. Watch the signs – listen to your body. If you are noticing any of the  following signs then it’s time to make changes:
Change in sleeping habits Change in eating habits Feeling   irritable, moody and unhappy Exhaustion and fatigue Panic attack   symptoms like dizziness, heavy chest, heart racing, headache, feeling   nauseous, hot and cold flashes Physical signs such as headaches,   stomachaches, joint pain and low immune system – catching frequent colds and   illnesses.
These symptoms are all warning signs of too much stress and anxiety in our life. This is a sign to slow down and take a time out.
For more information on Diane’s new book or schedule of workshops: www.dlcounseling.com  If you have any questions, please contact Diane at: Lifeline36@aol.com
Diane Lang, MA Counseling Educator www.dlcounseling.com

About Finding your happiness

Diane Lang, practicing therapist, national speaker, educator, and certified positive psychology coach, has her master’s degree in counseling and is an adjunct in psychology at Montclair State University. She has written three books, and has been featured in various publications, and on TV and Internet shows. Diane speaks on various mental and emotional health topics including Happiness, Resiliency, Stress management, Parenting Positive Aging, Anxiety, and Depression in both teens and adults. Diane also specializes in Positive Psychology Positive Education and Positive Parenting. Thousands of individuals have benefited from Diane’s motivational and educational speaking, trainings, and coaching. Her Hands-on approach along with her background, education and experience has proven to be beneficial to all who attend her presentation. To learn more on how you could bring Diane to your organization please email dlcounselingmedia@gmail.com
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