The holidays have become associated with increased stress levels, but they don't really have to be. While this festive time of year can be a time of joy and celebration, for those who have lost loved ones, changed jobs, relationships, or residences, the holidays can be a real source of anxiety and upset. Not to mention the physical stress that comes from too little sleep, too much fat, sugar, and alcohol, and frigid temperatures. That is why it is good to take time to celebrate yourself, for yourself, and by yourself, if that is what you need to do to survive the holidays in one piece.
1) Escape to your room or your favorite book store with a cup of something warm and read a favorite book, plug in your headphones, or just be with your orn thoughts.
2) Visit your favorite wine bar or dessert spot and sit quietly, savoring the aroma of a good glass of wine or a piece of flourless chocolate cake.
3) Look through photo albums and say "Happy Holidays" to loved ones who have passed on, and then listen to what they say in return.
4) Take in or make some art. Artistic expression of any kind is a source of joy, and creates the backdrop for clarity and peace of mind.
5) Watch old holiday movies or cartoons—they are much more gentle and heart-warming than current day versions. My favorites are "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer", "The Bishop's Wife", and "It's A Wonderful Life"!
6) Realize that it's O.K. if you don’t attend every holiday event to which you are invited. Yes, the holidays provide us with lots of opportunities to spend time with others. Just remember that it’s also important to spend a little time with yourself.
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