The holiday season is upon us and the craziness has just begun.
JenningsWire queried lots of experts for their Holiday survival advice. You”ll discover out how to deal with your family, ease your social anxiety, reduce your stress, discover hidden agendas and lots more so that you can have a Happy Holiday season.
HOLIDAY SURVIVAL TIPS
Tina B. Tessina, PhD, (aka “Dr. Romance”) of TinaTessina.com, Psychotherapist and author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting about the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage weighs in on how to deal with some holiday scenarios. Dr. Tessina offers the following three insights:
1) No matter what you observe: Ramadan, Kwanzaa, Chanukah, Solstice or Christmas, it’s a celebratory time of year. For some it’s a joy, for others a nightmare, and pressure to spend too much, eat too much, and socialize in ways you don’t like. If your Holiday expectations are out of line with what you can really accomplish, you’ll be stressed, and fighting is more likely.
2) Dr. Tessina also says that if Aunt Sue and her sister get into an argument, the host or hostess should pointedly change the subject. “Enough of that, Auntie Sue and Auntie Vera — let’s talk about what we’re thankful for.” If Uncle Fred tends to drink too much, arrange for the alcohol to be controlled by someone who can tell him when he’s had enough, and give him a soft drink or a cup of coffee. If Grandma criticizes parenting, say “Grandma, thanks for the advice.” and change the subject. In short, treat your family as though they’re someone else’s family. If it were the family of a dear friend of yours, you wouldn’t get upset, you’d be polite and try to deflect things. That’s a great way to handle your own family.
3) Also, have things to do, photo albums to look at, a tree to decorate, puzzles to put together, to keep people busy. If you ask everyone to bring something like a favorite family picture, an ornament for the tree, one flower to add to an impromptu arrangement, or a memento of your travels, these items can be a much safer topic of conversation. Focus the talk on new babies, holiday plans, or what the grandkids are doing to keep the conversation lighter.
HAPPINESS BUSTER: Oops! I ate the whole thing, now what?
Food Craving Expert, Sophie Skover of LSS Harmony Life Coaching, and author of The Continuous Appetite offers her insight into what to do if you accidentally ate too much. Sophie says:
The first thing to recognize is that food is not the problem. When a food craving comes to your awareness it is simply an indication that something is off within your body, emotions, mind or spirit. The next step is to go deeper and ask yourself these four questions:
1. What happened today?
2. What emotion did it make me feel?
3. What does that emotion feel like within?
4. And what do I really want?
Feel a little funny at parties, and not in a good way? Pumpkin seeds to the rescue
Here is what Food Mood Expert and Nutritionist ,Trudy Scott, of EveryWomanOver29.com, author of The Antianxiety Food Solution – How the Foods You Eat Can Help you Calm Your Anxious Mind, Improve Your Mood and End Cravings has to say about what will help you feel more comfortable at social events:
Having social anxiety when attending holiday parties is definitely a holiday happiness buster. If you want to keep this from happening try some pumpkin seeds as a snack. Research has actually shown that a medical or functional food made with pumpkin seeds improved social anxiety, due to the good sources of tryptophan and zinc. In another study this same functional food was also shown to reduce chronic insomnia so you’ll sleep better after the holiday party too. Pumpkin seeds can be soaked in water overnight and then lightly roasted with olive oil, sea salt, pepper, turmeric and ginger. They are delicious! Here is a recipe http://www.everywomanover29.com/blog/soaked-nuts-and-pumpkin-seed-recipe/
John Dowd Jr. of http://facebook.com/heroesmentorsandfriends and author of Heroes, Mentors and Friends says this about managing stress:
Our super charged high tech world has us NEVER disengaged from “thinking” whether it’s family or work, sometimes both! At least once a day. UNPLUG from technology for at least 30 minutes (or longer) whether it’s at night when in the bath, or meditation in the morning stopping the incessant “thought” eases stress. If you cannot possibly pull 30 minutes at night, then try a quiet lunch with a walk around your block at work near a park. Connecting with nature in your neighborhood during the week is possible is an amazing stress reliever.
John Dowd Jr. also says he “highly recommend practicing meditation which is the best way to ease stress and manage our high tech demanding jobs and lives”.
Manage expectations, keep the balance, save some fun for January
Certified Concierge Specialist, Lynn Sudlow of The Complete Errand says that she believes that enhanced expectations and lack of balance in one’s life are the chief causes of disappointment and unhappiness at the holidays. We often set unrealistic goals ~ verbalized or not; acknowledged or not ~ that create an environment of pressure and fantasy. Toss in that most people feel overworked, tired and obligated to follow certain traditions; that results in a toxic concoction!
Lynn says to talk well in advance of the holidays with those who are an important part of your life. They may be family, co-workers, friends, significant other or just an ‘other’. Discuss mutual goals and ideas of how to reach those goals around holiday activity. Establish new traditions if that blends everyone’s needs. When you know well in advance what will need to be done, you can plan ahead, delegate, share the load and otherwise approach the holidays with a calm attitude.
Lynn wraps up her tips with this clever tip: Postpone your celebrations whenever possible. When you hold a holiday event in January or even later, you give everyone involved something fun to look forward to when the usual rush of festivities is over. If gifts or baking or cooking are involved, it allows participants to shop at reduced pricing and cook or bake when they aren’t rushing out to other events.