Well, we are officially off to the retail madness of the Holiday Season with yet another Black Friday followed by Cyber Monday. As I pen this post, I am having a flashback about spending three Christmases managing a Christian Gift Shop in at the Macon Mall in Macon, Georgia. At the time, I was grateful for that chapter in my life, but I am glad is in my past.
For many people, this time of year is about as exciting as being told you need a root canal immediately. There are countless individuals feels an overwhelming sense of dread, worry, anxiety, exhaustion, and isolation. If you feel like this, you could be the victim of the Christmas Blahs, the Hanukkah Malaise, Kwanza Dullness, and for my neo-pagan friends, the Solstice Slump.
If you are someone who struggles with this time of the year, I am going to give you some mood lifting, stress-busting tips which could help bring joy into your life.
Sheila Moss (www.humorcolumnist.com) has a few great lines about Christmas.
Santa is watching; please do not do anything that will embarrass him.
The commercial spirit of Christmas is a mysterious force that causes people to max out their credit cards.
You cannot string more lights than your redneck neighbor.
The harder you try to diet, the higher the likelihood you will get candy for presents.
Famous last words-“I have plenty of time left to shop before Christmas.”
A friend of mine who has been a broadcast journalist was interviewing me a few years ago and asked me to come up with Twelve Stress-Busting Tips for Christmas. The good news, he gave me two hours to come up with them. Thankfully, they were a hit, and over the years I have adjusted them to be current. I hope these thirteen tips will help you enjoy the Advent season, lighten up your stress, and help you catch your breath.
13 Tips for Cutting Down Holiday Stress
1. Shop for the significant people first.
2. Stay active, move around, see the lights, do something to break up your routine.
3. Think before you speak. Consider ruling out all conversations which involve your job, health, marriage, the past, the future, or the present. Keep it “Holiday Light.”
4. Re-read the Christmas story, go to a Christmas musical, or even visit a church. For those of you who have not been to church and feel like the roof might collapse when you walk in-I have great news; churches have particular roofing material can handle the shock of your presence.
5. Stay loose; 21st-century families seem to always shift and change.
6. Look for and pray about creative solutions from problems that might arise during the holiday season.
7. Mom and Dad-let your married kids develop their own holiday traditions.
8. Take your medication, supplements, and vitamins.
9. Limit let eating and drinking be the focus of your Holiday gatherings.
10. Buy an Advent calendar, even if you don’t have kids-it is fun to open the tabs
11. Watch movies like The Christmas Star, or a Wonderful Life at least one time.
12. Take some time to be alone and reflect. Relax, catch a breath, smell the fragrances of the holidays.
13. Remember the “Reason for the Season.” The Gospel of Luke 2:11, “The Savior-yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! (NLT).
Would love to hear how you manage holiday stress! Please leave a comment.