Holiday Stress Tips

by Aila Accad, RN, MSN

Although the holidays can be a time and stress challenge, even the busiest person can create a special feeling this holiday season with a little forethought, flexibility and creativity.

Here are four ideas that can help.

1. Create the outcome you want. Vision the end of the season. Feel your joy and peace at creating the experiences you want to have for yourself and your family. Work back from the outcome to discover the actions that you can take to create that outcome. Be flexible and selective to get the holiday feeling you want. Example: If you have to work on the holiday, pick another day when everyone is available to celebrate together.

2. Decide what’s most important to you. Is it food, gifts, decorations or connecting with others? Focus your time and energy on the activities that are most meaningful. Simplify or eliminate some of the traditional holiday tasks that create time stress so meaningful moments can shine. Examples: Streamline decorations; buy cookies instead of baking, put gifts in bags instead of wrapping.

3. Be a receiver. It is as blessed to receive as to give. Allow others to help gives them the opportunity to feel good too. Ask for help not out of deficiency, but rather out of the generosity of knowing that others will feel good helping. Example: Make your holiday dinner an opportunity for each family member to contribute their signature dish rather than do it all yourself.

4. Save money, give meaning. The gift of time and care can be more treasured and valuable than a purchased present. Sharing your time or talent is rewarding for both of giver and receiver. One year I took up a neighborhood collection for the family of a sick child and had Santa deliver the cash. They never knew from where the gift came. This is still my favorite Christmas memory! Examples: Give a coupon for babysitting, Spring yard cleanup, a picnic dinner… Be creative.

Create the holiday feeling you want this season by deciding on the outcome first, being flexible, selective and creative about choosing the tasks that serve your outcome and nurturing yourself and others by sharing your special gift of caring.

I’m visioning a very happy holiday for you and your loved ones!

© 2009 Aila Accad

Aila Accad, RN, MSN, Your Stress-Buster Coach, is an award-winning international speaker, best-selling author and well-being coach who inspires and supports people to free their lives from stress and restore inner power. Sign up for free De-Stress Tips & News and get Ten Instant Stress Busters e-book as a gift at

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