“How we perceive a situation and how we react to it is the basis of our stress. If you focus on the negative in any situation, you can expect high-stress levels. However, if you try and see the good in the situation, your stress levels will greatly diminish.”- Catherine Pulsifer
Good evening and welcome to my humble podcast abode. I am Cocoa Griot, just a 50 something who's super excited to have a few moments of your time to talk about life love, and a hodgepodge of other topics. Let's face it, the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year for added stress. In this episode, I share tips on how to maintain your sanity while navigating dealing with family and friends. Holidays, the time period between Thanksgiving and New Year's day can be a delight or a disaster. I want to share a sobering fact with you. About 40% of adults are plagued with anxiety around the holidays. Why? What is it about this time that should be joyous that propels so many of us into a tizzy as the country folk say. Expectations about how our holidays should be are a major culprit of anxiety for a lot of people. Tonight, I'm going to show you three strategies that I am using to help reduce my holiday anxiety. I hope these will help you if you tend to experience anxiety during the holiday season.
The first area and one that is always hanging overhead is money. I found myself singing this tune the other day. It's beginning to cost a lot like Christmas! Then I thought to myself, you are the gatekeeper of your finances. Spend what you can afford to buy and with what you have in hand right now. I say this as I'm just paying off Christmas gifts from two years ago, I saw an intriguing article that said give to someone that your relative supports. Like any kind of cause and then donate in your relative's name. That is such a novel thought and I can tell you if you are searching for a nonprofit to give to, Friends of the Children in Austin Texas positively impacts vulnerable youth and their families. Ask your family members directly what causes do you support? Let them know that you provided a donation to their cause on their behalf. That is truly a gift worth giving. If you are crafty, there are tons of videos on YouTube about how to make personalized gifts with supplies from the Dollar and 25 cent tree. Yes, prices have gone up in my favorite store so I'm no longer calling it the Dollar Tree. Just keeping it real here. These are just a couple of strategies I'm using this year to save my stress level and let it down because I'm not going to float Christmas gift debt for years anymore.
My second strategy to reduce anxiety around the holidays is to not hold people hostage for who they are. There are family members that I have who can push my buttons and I go from zero to ziggity boom when they do! Instead of allowing these people to essentially have a joystick in my back and control my emotions, I'm employing some stress reduction strategies I teach my mentees. Number one, I will respond and not react. If something is said that I don't agree with. I will acknowledge that this individual has a right to their truth. At the same time, I will honor my truth and not participate in heated exchanges. Number two, I will take deep breaths and trace my fingers to invite my body to return to a state of calm. Number three, if all this fails, I will remove myself from the situation in a grown-up timeout. During that time I will review my behavior and make sure I was operating as my best self in that situation.
The third strategy I'm going to use is being open to modifying traditions or creating new ones. I spent time with my son on Thanksgiving at his home instead of mine. At first, I felt guilty about it. But I realized how much more relaxed the day was when I was not responsible for a ton of cooking and cleaning. The essence of the holiday, being with family really was the focus of the day. I think expecting matriarchs or patriarchs to tie themselves to a stove and churn out meals for an entire family is pretty stress-inducing. I enjoyed my Thanksgiving pampering so much, I'm doubling down for another session at Christmas. This is new to me, but I think I kind of like having a break. What are you going to do to minimize your holiday stress? Please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org That is c-o-c-o -g-r- email@example.com and let me know what you're doing. Plan ahead to take care of yourself so you can survive the most wonderful time of the year.
Thanks for listening this evening. And as always, I wish you good health. Good fortune, and good night, Cocoa Griot out!