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Prime Time For Stress

Prime Time for Stress

When your expectations are high, you push your energy and schedule to its limits, and you revisit difficult relationships, you are set up for stress.  In the US, the next 8 weeks is the holiday season, a time when these issues collide.  Even if you love the season, it is prime time for stress.

 

Whether or not you love the season, here are some tips that will help you Put Stress to Work and enter the new year in a healthier state.

Lower your expectations. You may enter this season with unrealistic ideas about what you can accomplish, what the season can do for you, what the season “ought” to be, and some idea that all will be exceptional to what has been during the rest of the year. Lower your expectations and you’ll enjoy the season more.

Plan ahead.  Plan your schedule and to-do lists to finish well ahead of deadlines, avoid rushing, and allow time to breathe.  Avoid “last minute” efforts.

Find time for yourself.  Holidays often mean a rush of activity and people unlike any other time of the year.  Plan now to take time for yourself, alone or with very small, undemanding groups.  Plan now for how to “step away” from groups that begin to stress you.

Spend well within your means. Going into debt through emotional or impulse spending creates a situation that will “just keep on stressing” well into 2018 or longer.  Don’t do it.  Make a budget and work your plan to stay within your means.

Unplug. Take some time away from your electronic devices, social media, and television.  Do a fast from news and talk radio.

Embrace Silence. You may avoid silence like the plague because it seems boring or if you are silent, you must be with yourself and your thoughts.  For many, this is difficult.  But, the more you practice silence, the more comfortable you may become and begin to enjoy it.

Build reserves.  Rest when you can versus when you must, manage your personal energy, and save money for your expenditures.

Control your food and alcohol intake. When you go wild with your diet, alcohol intake, and other indulgences, this stresses your body in unhealthy ways.  Make your commitments and plans about this now.

Get more on how you can Put Stress to Work year-round from my new book – Put Stress to Work: Turning Headaches into Advantages.

Give the book to family and friends during the season with the intro: “We’ve probably all been stressed over the last few weeks so here is the last stress management book you’ll need.”

 

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