Holiday BluesThe kids are back in school. The leaves are beginning to turn and the air is becoming crisper in the morning. Costco already has their Christmas stock on display. The holidays are just around the corner. The change in the season can bring joy as well as sadness as the holidays approach. The holidays can be rich in ritual and tradition. The holidays can also be filled with anticipation and stress, known as the holiday blues.Storybooks and Christmas specials on TV inform us about the “standards” for the holidays. Most of us have specific beliefs about what to expect during the holidays. We dream of the ideal holiday gatherings. When you and your family do not meet those expectations, depression and feelings of overwhelm might occur.Three main areas to be aware of that could contribute to holiday stress include expectations you might have about yourself or your family during the holidays, expectations family and friends might have that affect you and not spending the holidays with others due to distance, death in the family or divorce.HALT or Hungry, Angry, Lonely, TiredThere is a lot of preparation leading up to the holidays. The list of things that need to be taken care of can seem endless. Although you might be caught up in the frenzy of the season, remember to take time to care for yourself. The four primary signs to watch out for during the stress of the holidays can be remembered by the acronym HALT. This stands for hungry, angry, lonely and tired. Having any one of these symptoms is a sign of stress. If you notice that several of these symptoms are occurring, you can stop the downward spiral and reverse the course. The best way to avoid HALT’s and the destructive behavior that occurs with it is to continue with self care. Make sure that you are eating well, avoiding resentment and anger, you are not isolating yourself from others or trying to do it all yourself and you are getting enough rest.
Some things we cannot change. The past has already happened and cannot be changed. As much as we might like to change some things about our families, that is not possible. Other people’s actions, what they say or how they feel cannot be controlled by you. Going to the traditional family dinner expecting your family to be different this year, probably is not realistic. This will only set you up for disappointment. Accepting what you cannot control will help you to relax and reduce some of your stress.BoundariesThere are some things you do have control over. You can control how you feel, think and act. Before you get together with your family, think about how you want to be when you are around them. What boundaries can you set to avoid frustration, hurt or disappointment? If you feel you have to show up at a function due to obligation, there are some things you can do. Consider bringing another person who will be a support for you and a buffer with your family. Choose someone that will be your advocate. You could choose to arrive late and leave early. That way you will make your obligatory appearance, but don’t have to stay for the entire event. Another option is that you can choose to make different plans. You only need to do something one time in order to establish a new ritual. Be aware of what you can do to maintain control of how you choose to spend the holidays this year.Perceptions, Positive or NegativeA pitfall of the holidays is that it is easy to focus on the negative. You might begin to see lack, becoming critical of others and of yourself. You might be sensitive about what you cannot buy without going over your budget, not having enough time to prepare, family members that do not get along and feeling like too much is expected of you. When you focus on the negative you will see things that confirm that perception. Try a new tactic this year. Make a choice to focus on the positive. Consider the positive things that happened this year. Keep a gratitude list. Notice what has occurred this past year that worked out well. What are some things that others have done that you appreciate? When you make a decision to look for the positive, you will notice positive things around you. That will help to elevate your mood. Not only will you feel better, but others will notice your positive outlook as well.
Emotional Freedom TechniqueSometimes, no matter how hard you might try, you are unable to change a pattern of thinking and feel stuck. The Emotional Freedom Technique, or EFT, is a quick, effective and easy way to relieve negative emotions. When you use EFT on your own, you are likely to experience relief 50% of the time. When EFT is being done with a skilled practitioner, you are likely to remove negative thoughts and memories 90% of the time. EFT will not remove the memory; it will help you to relieve the negative emotions that arise when you think of those memories. EFT can be tried on everything. For the holidays, EFT can be used to avoid overeating and drinking, relieving traumatic memories and holiday blues.The holidays are just around the corner. You are the only one that can affect how you experience the holidays. You can choose to do things this year that will help to make this holiday season enjoyable and memorable. Set boundaries where they are necessary. Continue with self care. Start a new tradition. Choose to be with people that celebrate who you are. Use the Emotional Freedom Technique as frequently as necessary to remove any negative thoughts, anxiety or unresolved emotional issues. Remember that you have the choice over how you feel, think and act. Feeling empowered through the holidays is the gift you can give to yourself.
And now I would like to invite you to claim your FREE audio CD “Step Into Your Greatness” available at: = mindsetformarketingsuccess .comClick here to get everything you need and begin clearing the obstacles to the next level of your success.From Loren Fogelman, the business success expert, founder of Mindset for Marketing Success.