15 Dec 3 Simple Tips for Reducing Stress During the Holidays
Holiday season is around the corner and many of us are making plans to spend time with family. What better opportunity is there than to bring transformation home for the holidays? This article offers three simple tips for reducing the stress during this time of year. We hope it supports you in a having a healthy and vibrant end of the year and sets you up to ring in the new year with all that life has to offer.
Ariel and Shya
Listen – Really Listen – Often times we “know” what our families are going to talk about and then tend to tune them out or get annoyed that Mom, Dad or Aunt Susie is repeating him or herself.
Play a game with yourself and actively listen to what he or she has to say as if you want to hear it and as if you are hearing it for the first time. Stress builds when you resist something. This is the first principle of Instantaneous Transformation: What you resist grows stronger (or in this case talks louder and longer). Face it, your family cannot be different than they are. This is the Second Principle of Instantaneous Transformation: You can only be exactly as you are in any given moment…and so can your family. The Third Principle of Instantaneous Transformation is: Anything (or anyone) you allow to be exactly as it is without judging it will complete itself. So, if you can intentionally listen to hear what Uncle Fred has to say without judging him, you may be pleasantly surprised how that conversation you have been resisting for years is suddenly easy to listen to…or you may even find that he has something of interest to say.
Realize that Being Kind to Yourself is a Gift that Keeps on Giving – It is so easy as the holidays approach to get into a rhythm of trying to get the “right” gift or complaining about the holiday traffic, lines at the store or the seemingly dwindling hours in the day. It is not unusual for people to be hard on themselves when things don’t go the way they would prefer. Have you ever noticed that when you are being gentle and easy with yourself that you are much less likely to snap at others? So as the season winds up, see if you can give yourself a break. When you have compassion for your own foibles, you will be much more likely to be in the holiday spirit rather than feeling like a grinch.
Stop Treating Your Parents as, well, Your Parents – A fellow named Joe recently came to one of our evening seminars having just returned from visiting his father for a holiday. Joe was valiantly trying not to complain about his Dad but truthfully had found the time they spend together very trying. The two of them had gone to see a football game and after each play the announcer would state who each pass was intended for or who had carried the ball. After each play, Joe’s dad would ask, “Who caught that?” or “Who was that?” and finally Joe exploded. “Dad. Why don’t you listen? The announcer says the name after each play. I just want to sit here and enjoy the game! Stop bugging me.”
Needless to say his outburst heightened the tension between them and stressed the relationship. Joe was thinking of his father as a mature adult and had fallen back into a juvenile stance. He hadn’t seen that his Dad was lonely and hungry for his attention. It hadn’t occurred to him to anticipate his Dad’s needs and take care of him. Joe realized that next time he and his father went to a game, he could tell his Dad the player before being asked. Joe also didn’t beat himself up for having been frustrated. After the seminar, he called his Dad to thank him and let him know he enjoyed being with him. In an instant, stress dissolved and they were back in relationship.
So for those of you who find yourself acting like a kid with a family member, perhaps you can reach out and take care of him or her for a change.