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Doing Life Together

It’s hard not to feel stressed during the holiday season. There is so much to do–parties, cleaning, cooking, shopping and gift wrapping .. OK I am getting stressed just listing it all out!

This season, don’t let stress get the best of you. Take care of yourself so you can at least enjoy the season.

Take a quick inventory of your self-care practices. Are you attending to all areas of your life? If so, this holistic approach will help you reduce stress.

1) Emotional Self-Care: Pull out those assertive skills and say NO! ” Sorry, I can’t bake two dozen cookies for the school party.” “I know you need a volunteer but I just can’t work it in this year.” “Yes, I would be honored to come to your gathering but I have too much on my calendar already. I am going to have to say NO. Maybe next time.”

2) Financial Self-Care: Have a budget and stick to it. One of the biggest stresses is spending too much. You don’t want those January bills to freak you out! So as hard as it is, come up with a budget, a list of people to buy for and stick to your plan. Your mind will be at ease.

3) Physical Self-Care: Don’t forget about exercise, eating and sleeping well. Yes, you will not be as routined as usual, but don’t give up just because it is more difficult to work physical care into your day. The more you take care of your physical body, the better you will feel.

4) Spiritual Self-Care: Plan time for morning meditation and prayer. There is no better way to de-stress, then to begin your day with God. Quiet and center yourself. Ask Him to order your day and give His peace. When I get too busy to spend time with God, I get stressed.

5) Relational Self-Care:  My mom died right before Christmas a few years ago. Feelings of loss sometimes hit me. When they do. I sit with them. I grieve and allow myself to feel the loss. Be aware of your emotions and relationships that trigger you during this time. Work on difficult relationships and don’t allow the extra stress to make you more irritable.

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