Advice for Managing Holiday Stress

November 16, 2022
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Stephanie Renna

Advice for Managing Holiday Stress

The holidays can take an emotional toll on us, so we want to provide you with some tips to help you manage your holiday stress.
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As wonderful as the holiday season can be, moments of merriment can often be overshadowed by other emotions brought on this time of year. Perhaps you’re feeling lonely, unable to spend the holidays with people you love. Or maybe youfeel intense pressure to make everything perfect for everyone else, and in the process make yourself miserable. Or maybe you just don’t have it in you to keep up with the extravagance we see on TV and social media, making you feel inadequate. 

You’re not alone. The holidays can take a toll on us, so we want to provide you with some tips that can help you get through this holiday season.  

Conquer The Voices In Your Head

Your mother-in-law isn’t the only making you doubt yourself this time of year. And while we cannot help with her, there are other voices we can help you vanquish. We have voices in our heads all year long that tell us stories of our shortcomings, most of which aren’t true. These tales are usually formed from people or experiences in our past. Perhaps your parents had lofty aspirations that you haven't met. Or a teacher or coach said you weren't good enough. Or maybe a childhood friend who was less than kind. 

We all have these voices that we need to learn to identify and name. You could have any combination of the following, and possibly a few more: 

  • The Critic – The voice saying what is and isn't good enough. 
  • The Judge – The voice judging what is and isn't worthy.  
  • The Preacher - The voice in your head making you feel guilty and condemning you.
  • The Teacher - The voice reminding you of what you don't know. 
  • The Cop - The voice deciding what's right or wrong.

When you hear a voice chime in and say, "You’re not going to be able to make that recipe," tell your teacher to be quiet. Or when you look in the mirror and say, "They’re going to think you didn’t spend enough," silence your critic.

Like with fear, naming them takes away the power, making them easier to confront.   

Breathe Out Negativity

Holding on to negative energy affects you both mentally and physically. Identify how you hold these harmful emotions. You may start to feel anxiety building up in your chest or find yourself dwelling on painful thoughts. Once you experience that negativity build-up, it's time to clear your energy.

Start by recognizing and stating aloud any negative emotions, bringing to light things you may not have even realized you were experiencing. 

When stating your emotion, it's important to state it as a feeling rather than internalizing the emotion. When stating how you feel, say, "The truth is I FEEL…" rather than, "I am…." Saying you feel tired, rather than you are tired, makes it a temporary emotion or feeling, instead of who you are. 

Once you've stated your feelings, take four long, deep breaths. On the fourth breath, physically lean away from the energy you breathed out and create space for positivity to take over.

Reference this video on clearing your energy to develop a daily practice.

Do a Little Dance

When you're feeling down, the last thing you may want to do is smile or laugh, but that simple act can have amazing results. 

When you smile, your brain begins to fight stress by releasing dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins, helping you recover from stress and reducing your heart rate. There are studies those chemical reactions occur even if you force a smile. 

You can even take it a step further by engaging your whole body by bouncing or turning on your favorite song and dancing. 

Elevate your state of being to help improve your emotions and push through those stressful moments. 

Get Through the Holidays Happier

Next time you start to feel overwhelmed by the stress of the season, take a minute and:

  1. Name your critic
  2. Clear your energy
  3. Elevate your state

Fora deeper dive into these tools and additional guidance on how to be more joyful and confident, take the Be You course. We'll help you find your inner confidence so you can become the most powerful, intelligent, and accomplished version of yourself.

Stephanie Renna has been working with Succeed On Purpose since 2012, and now serves as the brand leader. Her purpose is to bring joy.

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