Saturday, December 08, 2007

The "O" Approach To Holiday Stress

It's Holiday time so make this year a more enjoyable season. Here are some tips to help you along. I found these during one of my internet surfs, and thought they were brilliant suggestions.

Overexpectation. This is the single biggest cause of holiday stress. Unrealistic hopes that everything will be perfect, and everyone will be happy can only lead to disappointment, frustration and even depression. Be realistic and enjoy the true meaning of the holidays, which is about celebration and togetherness – not perfection.

Overscheduling. Most of our lives are already overscheduled, even before adding in holiday visits, religious events, and travel. Make plans carefully in advance and don’t be afraid to say “No!" if you feel burdened.

Overindulging. Eat, drink and be merry…within reason. Overeating can worsen certain health problems and causes unneeded guilt over extra pounds. Enjoy the bounty of special celebrations but don’t go overboard.

Overpaying. Don't confuse “stuff” with love. Make a budget and stick to it. Most of all, remember to give the gift of time to children. Long after the $100 video games are forgotten, kids will remember sledding down hills with you.

Overexertion. Don’t wait until the last minute to shop for food and presents. Shop ahead of time. Use the Internet. And don’t go it alone! Delgate if necessary.

Overbearing Relatives. Family conflicts can resurface during what should be ideal moments. Try to avoid falling into old tensions or old roles. If certain people are problematic, be creative with seating or invite people to different occasions at different times. Set aside differences until after the holidays. If friction arises, leave the room to baste the turkey or take a walk with someone.

Overstressed. Keep an eye out for signs of discomfort and stress that takes its toll on your body and mind. Head or backaches, nightmares, withdrawal, irritability and other out-of-character behaviors are a sign that you have taken on too much.


OHN said...

I need to print and post this somewhere..then of course read it a few times each day.

The Lone Beader said...

Good advice!!

Or better yet, just tell eveyone in your family that you aren't doing anything for Christmas this year. That works for me. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Better still, cancel christmas and keep your head down until its over!

Marie said...

These are very helpful tips! I hope some of us use them!

TIV: the individual voice said...

This is great. I love the free activities instead of buying stuff. And thanks for coming by my blog. That was much sweeter than if you had bought me a gift.

Jade said...

Lets not forget Over-studied! Semesters normally end during the holidays. Not only do students get Holiday stress but they have Educational stress to boot! White knuckle time!

S'onnie said...

Having read your blog its almost a positive thing that I don't have anything to do or anywhere to go on Christmas. My plans for this christmas are to make a nice lamb roast and take some nice roast samwiches down to the beach or the river and relax. Aside from that I am working through the christmas new year period. I only get christmas day off

Ian Lidster said...

Excellent hints and ones we should all be adhering to. When I read your title I thought the blog was going to be about something else. Never heed my evil mind.

The Front said...

Great suggestions, just wont do me any good this holiday season.

Karma said...

So true! But still easier said than done!

Big Brother said...

Great suggestions, now all I have to do is apply them. I love the Christmas vacation but not the holidays too much, too many things not enough time.

Carie said...

I wish I could apply all of them, but I seem to already be in the over stressed mode...I so dread holidays sometimes

Casdok said...

Very good!!

alan said...

No wonder your blog rates "Genius"!

Each of these is something I need to attempt to get through these next few weeks; thank you for pointing each out so concisely!

And may all your Christmases be bright!


Guilty Secret said...

Excellent list. I will try to bear it in mind!

Ami said...

You forgot this "O"

"Oh get out the large shaker jar of xanax and shake it all over the dinner."

That's what I'll be doing this year. Against my better judgement, we'll be having some family over for the holiday.

Dr. Deb said...

Dear Ohn,
I thought it was a great list.

Dear Lone,
Thats an option too.

Dear Anon,
And yet another way to go.

Dear Marie,
I liked that they all started with the same letter. Easy to read, y'know?

Dear TIV,
I will visit you often.

Dear Jade,
Oh yes, for students this is a very tough time of year. Finals always come at holiday time,

Dear Sonnie,
That sounds like a very peaceful way to experience Christmas.

Dear Ian,

Dear Front,

Dear Karma,
Any little bit to help reign in the craziness of the holidays is good by me. It would be a tall task to be able to do them all, though, I agree.

Dear BB,
I know what you mean. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. No gifts to buy, just plenty of gratitude and loving feelings shared. Oh, and food. Can't forget that.

Dear Carie,
You are not alone in your dread of the holidays. Many feel the same way.

Dear Casdok,
I enjoyed the "O" theme of the suggestions.

Dear Alan,
I wish I knew the author so I could give credit to him or her. I thought they were smart and useful tips too. And yes, a bright Christmas is lovely for all.

Dear Guilty,
Even the tiniest change can make a difference.

Dear Ami,
Oh, no.....say it ain't so.


Health Psych said...

Very timely reminders. I'll probably struggle with these :)

east village idiot said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post and will send it around the world.

Fallen Angels said...

Unfortunately I'm in the same boat as Jade...can't do anything about overstressed or overscheduled, at least for 12 more days. And overextended is rapidly approaching...finals week ends 12/21...that is when I get to STarT my xmas shopping. :| I've made a list though, and I'm sticking to it.


United We Lay said...

I wonder if we're hearing about all the shootings to encourage us to shop. I thonk it's entirely evident that our government is using psychological warefare on it;s own population and with out ecanomy suffering, they figure that the making people scared for their lives will convince them to spend in order to have a nice holiday and escape the everyday trauma associated with living in the currect political climate. That's just a theory, though.

Marie said...

Dr. Deb-like the new look of the blog!

DrGwenn said...

What an amazing and timely list. I'm going to put this on my frig OVER my to do list!

Dr. G

Donna said...

Amazing how all the expectations affect us, isn't it?

PalmTreeChick said...

I have head and backaches, but I think that's from moving and leaning over to build furniture all day. :)

Belizegial said...

And O so practical approach. Just what I need for my overstretched life

By the way, I heard today that Scott Baio is officially off the single white male market. As in he is officially hitched with a baby in the oven. All by the time he clocked in at 46 yrs. Can we say in unison 'it's about time!'


Mel Avila Alarilla said...

Hi Dr. Deb,
Those are very practical suggestions that people must always consider. No use overburdening ourselves due to the holiday seasons. Tis the season to be jolly and we must reasonably enjoy the season without conflicts and pressures. Thanks for the wonderful tips. God bless and have the best holiday season for you and your family.

ellesu said...

Yep! Overexpectation. That's the biggie for me. Thanks for these, Deb.

Heidi said...

Boy am I glad I'm Jewish.. ;)

Dream Writer said...

Love the new look and great advice...

Dr. Deb said...

Dear HP,
Me too. Will try though.

Dear EVI,
I liked the O theme.

Dear Fallen,
It is so hard to be a college or grad student at this time of year!

Dear United,
I don't feel that way. But the news does try to show us only bad and scary things.

Dear Marie,
Blogger templates are few and far between, but I like this one.

Dear Dr. G,

Dear Donna,
We have streamlined the gift shopping by having a grab bag for the entire family. So it helps a lot!

Dear Palmtree,
BE careful!

Dear Enid,
YEah, I read that too about SB

Dear Mel,
To you too.

Dear Ellesu,
I have come to do better with overexpectation as the years go by. But the other O's are a bit tough for me.

Dear Heidi,
Happy's the last night.

Dear Dream,
Needed a change.


Marj aka Thriver said...

Smart list! If I can just toot my own horn for a minute: I'm staying away from the "overendulging" this holiday season. I lost 15 pounds over the summer and, so far, I've been able to keep it all off with Halloween, my birthday, Thanksgiving, a cruise, and one holiday party so far. It sure feels better than gorging! :)

Marj aka Thriver said...

And, I can spell, too!

Disillusioned said...

Over-expectation is the big one for me. I have the rose-tinted spectacled view of Christmas as a child and want to make it so for my own kids - which it can't be, of course. And I hanker after those Christmases when I ws fee to be a child and didn't have responsibilities. Thanks for posting this.

vitamins said...

Brilliant suggestions indeed. Many if not all tend to be over doing things during the holidays.