Holiday Survival Guide – 3

2) Express Your Feelings

Let others know just how you are feeling by sharing it with them in a positive way. If things are bothering you, tell someone about it. But you should do it in a manner that doesn’t put undue stress upon them! Having a family “chat session” about what they are feeling can not only strengthen the bonds between you, but also eleviate some of the normal stresses associated with the holidays. This, however, shouldn’t be a “gripe session” though. Don’t let your stressful feelings turn into anger that is outwardly expressed at the expense of a loved one’s own feelings. There are more productive ways to channel your energetic feelings without being hurtful. Discussing what you are feeling instead of who you are feeling this towards can certainly help releave stress and figure out constructive ways that each of you can work together to solve any tensions or problems. Don’t expect immediate results though. Things take time. But taking positive steps towards understanding through sharing your feelings is the right direction to head.

3) Ask For Help

It’s not as devastating as you might think 🙂 Actually, it’s quite easy! If you are having a tough time shouldering all the responsibilities that are upon you, just ask someone to help you with them. You could do this by dividing up different tasks that are on your holiday list of things to get done. Of course you’ll want to be sure that whatever task you assign to a family member is “age appropriate”. Meaning you don’t want to give your 10 year old the job of hanging outdoor lights on the roof! So make sure that you delegate these responsibilities as they fit the laborer. If your particular need for help is more of an emotional nature, speak with someone you trust about what you are feeling. Remember, if you are still harboring ill feelings towards Aunt Fanny from 3 years ago, do your best not to bring up any names and just discuss what it is that is bothering you about that particular situation. Otherwise you could just make yourself feel even worse by piling on unnecessary guilt. If you find that you can’t discuss these matters with a family member, take time and visit your family doctor. He/She may be able to offer you an outsider’s view of what’s going on, which can be quite helpful in looking at the situation in a different way. And, if the stressful feelings are causing a more serious problem, your doctor can help.

4) Know Your Limits And Abide By Them

You should never “bite off more than you can chew”. This applies to not only what you can get done during the holidays, but also what you can afford to spend. Don’t over-extend yourself or your finances. Remember, the thing that people will remember most is that you were there with them, spending precious time to celebrate the joy of being together and not the physical gifts they received. YOU are worth more than a little “trinket”. And that is what will create lasting memories for everyone! And, don’t be too harsh on yourself for not getting that expensive video game for Johnny, or that collectible doll for Jane. Do what you can and nothing more. Don’t place high expectations on yourself, and don’t make promises you simply cannot keep. Limiting what you can realistically do will help reduce the stresses you put on yourself.

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