6 Tips To Minimize Holiday Stress


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Broken and whole Christmas ornaments
How to keep the winter holidays from hurting your relationship.

Spira suggests that "couples talk about holiday travel in advance, especially as it relates to finances. Who is going to pay the bills? Is there a budget?"

If your spouse or boyfriend is under- or unemployed, "Don't make him feel like a failure," say Spira. "Try to encourage him that it will get better, restructure your romantic life to take-out food at home by candlelight, and make sure you talk about revising your budget."

4. When it comes to family, acknowledge the good AND the bad. "No one knows how to push our buttons better than our families of origin—the people who installed the buttons to begin with," says Daitch. If picturing the positives lies beyond the scope of your imagination, she recommends this visual exercise: Place everything you dislike about a particular person in one palm, and make a fist containing your resentment. Do the same thing, but with what you appreciate about the person, in your other hand.

"Bring both hands together and slowly place both hands over your heart, mingling the negative feelings of annoyance and irritation with feelings of endearment," Daitch says. "Allow both types of feelings to exist simultaneously and appreciate one right along with the other." 9 Tips For A Successful Visit With The Family

5. Take a breather—literally. When you can't get away from your responsibilities, employing a breathing technique can help ease the emotional suffocation. "Whether you're browsing the aisles of the department store, browsing online, or stressing about someone's gift, STOP," Daitch says. "Take five deep breaths, inhaling to the count of five and exhaling to the count of eight."

6. Conquer loneliness by surrounding yourself with people. The holidays can be lonely for single folks who don't have a partner to celebrate with. Those in relationships aren't immune to holiday depression, however, especially if things aren't going well between you and your man.

Resist the temptation to drown your sorrows in spiked eggnog. Single ladies, "get your girlfriend network together and have a movie night, a chocolate party at your house, and most importantly, accept every invitation from now until the end of the year," Spira says. "You never know who is going to be at the next networking event." How To Fight The Single Blues This Holiday Season

"When we are lonely, it's easy to overlook resources," Daitch says. "But you have resources and you can connect to them by calling or e-mailing old friends. You can draw upon those resources, even if they are not physically present or even still alive to support you."

If your family and friends are feeling far away, "create an imaginary support circle," says Daitch. "Bring in everyone who has ever loved you into the circle. Whenever feelings of loneliness surface you can call upon this circle of support. Just the thought of this loving presence can begin to calm your nervous system and bolster feelings of strength and well-being."

Tell us, are the holidays stressful for you? How do you cope?

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