They’re coming here, or maybe you’re going there, and both options can hold a particular type of stress around holidays. The family dynamics, tradition, expectations, little irritations from the past — it all goes into the mix holidays can be. Or maybe your family is amazing, but your stress comes from another direction, and add that onto the holidays, and stress multiplies.
When you’re already prone to eating for comfort or stress release, it creates a powder keg, and it may take very little to blow.
De-stress. Yes, it’s legitimate stress; yes, you’re quite busy; and we can still find ways to manage it rather than letting it take over. Breathe, and focus on the point of the holiday. As a people-pleaser, I often wind myself up worrying about what others will think, feel, or enjoy. Mind, I usually consider everything other than having time to spend with me — time when I’m not thinking three steps ahead — focused and present time with my family and friends. Remember what’s really important, and all the pieces and details we worry about seldom actually make up the whole.
Think about your best memories. Don’t the best stories come from the times when everything goes a bit wrong? When we relax a bit, things are less likely to go quite so wrong, and if they do, we handle it better.
What’s your favorite de-stress activity? No, eating isn’t it. We tend to destress with sugar or salty things, and those tend to add to stress rather than truly relieving it, but we seldom stop to notice. We just take comfort in what we’ve always done — at least our mouths are happy.
Take a walk, let dinner be a little later than planned, enjoy a good conversation with your friend or family — build good memories rather than trying to make it perfect.