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How to Reduce Your Stress Over the Holiday Season

We all look forward to Christmas, right?  It is a day of relaxing, possibly watching the annual Christmas parade and/or football, eating too much yummy food, being thankful for all that we have and being surrounded by family and friends.

Well, that’s how it’s supposed to be in a perfect world. But, we all know that holidays aren’t
perfect and neither are our families. Unfortunately, there can be a lot stress that comes with the holidays too.  For one, traveling (whether it’s by car or plane) can be taxing on one’s patience, especially if there are kids involved.  And, as much as we all love
our families, they can get on your nerves…parents included.

So, here’s some advice on how to reduce your stress about your parents or in-laws as well as other family members coming over to your house for Christmas.

#1. Don’t Do It All Yourself!

Christmas should be an enjoyable occasion for all including the host/hostess.  If you have set the precedent that you will do it all then you are setting yourself up for stress.  My suggestion is to approach Christmas as a collaborative effort.  Everyone is assigned to bring something.  There are going to be some family or friends who aren’t great in the kitchen, but that’s okay.  Assign them to something easy such as the vanilla ice cream and Cool Whip for the pies.  If this approach is new for your family, it may come as a bit of surprise when you bring it up.  But over time, your loved ones will (hopefully)
understand how and why having everyone pitch in makes for a day to truly be
thankful about.

#2.  Take a Deep Breath

So, Christmas morning has arrived, as will your guests in just a few short hours.  There’s so much to do!  The last thing you need is for your mom to analyze how you prepared the bird or set the table, or for your mother-in-law to ask why you didn’t fix sweet potatoes.
They always have sweet potatoes at Christmas.  So, when these types of comments come rolling your way, my best advice is to take a deep breath and count to 10 (or 20
whichever it takes to get you past the “feedback” with grace).

#3.  Love Your Family For Who They Are…Flaws and All

Going along with #2, we also need to remember that with the holidays comes heightened sensitivity to criticism, especially when it comes from those closest to us.  We have known our loved ones for a long time, and we also know how to push each other’s buttons. At Christmas, we need to remember that we should love each other, for which we are, not who we want others to be.  None of us are perfect, and we won’t and don’t react exactly the way others think we should.  You will find your stress level greatly reduced
if you go into the holidays remembering this.

Happy (stress-free) Christmas to you and your family from the FirstLight Home Care Family!!

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