Life's problems, whether it's grief parenting, work or whateever can become all encompassing. If we aren't careful problems will set a negative tone for our household, maybe even our lives. Home will become a constant battle ground, where stress rules.
That's why we need celebrations. Celebrations give us a break, a chance to reset the clock and forget, for a moment, the conflicts in our lives. Celebrations help us lower our level of stress, renew and rekindle friendships, and reflect on the good in our lives.
Too often we bring baggage filled with; unreasonable expectations, worries, self criticisms, anxieties, anger, annoyance, frustrations and aggravations to celebrations. So instead of enjoying the celebratory process we are barely present emotionally and cognitively. Our bodies are there, but our minds are a million miles away. Our baggage won't allow us to relax and "participate" in the process of celebrating.
Christmas is coming, it comes every year at the same time; every year we are surprised that the holiday season is here already.
Let's do it differently this year. Let's make the whole process, the decorating, cooking, fellowshipping, and shopping part of the celebratory process. Let's "participate" in this year's celebration. We can start by deciding to put the baggage in the closet this year, and truly celebrate this year.
Here are six steps to use to enjoy the celebratory process, decrease stress, and rejuvenate throughout the process.
Stay on a schedule as much as possible. This is especially important if you have small children, children and teens with ADHD or ADD, and for yourself. It's difficult for small children to adjust to new sleeping and eating schedules. Their fussiness and crankiness is contagious.
Children and teens with ADHD/ADD have a difficult time managing excitement and change. They easily become overloaded by too much stimuli; all by itself too much stimuli cause explosive episodes. Staying on schedule will help them to remain calm..
Talk about expectations. Spend time as a family discussing what will happen. Be flexible and listen to others' suggestion and ideas. This conversation may help identify some unrealistic expectations or areas that may cause conflicts. Especially scheduling problems.
Encourage everybody to participate in the conversation. Delegate tasks so that one person isn't responsible for everything.
Relax. This isn't just talking about sitting and watching television. Take a mental relaxation. Sit calmly and enjoy the decorations you put up, Pay attention to the weather, to the sounds around you or the smells. Take one minute and think about the good that is happening in your life, and smile.
Eat good food for energy. It's nothing worse than spending holiday time sick, when so much need to get done. Eating good nutritious food is a must. It's difficult with all of the sugary delicious foods around, but be dedicated to eating fresh fruit, and vegetables daily, and cut back on the sugars.
Avoid unnecessary conflicts. Stores will be crowded, streets will be crowded, everyplace you go, there will be people in the celebratory mode. This should mean that they are happy and feeling charitable. Most likely it means that they will be in a rush, and have their invisible baggage with them, dragging it from one place to another.
Leave your invisible baggage at home. Decide before you leave exactly what you are doing, determine that you don't have to have a parking spot next to the store's door, and that you don't have to be the first in line. Smile at home and abroad. Smiles just make everything better.
Make someone else's life better. Yes, that's right, with all that you have to do, make a conscious decision to make someone else's life better. You don't have to do much. You can give someone a simple compliment, let someone go ahead of you at the store. Share a meal with someone.
You won't believe how rejuvenated you feel after you have done an act of kindness for someone else. Remember your kind act doesn't have to be a big action, but make it a sincere action.
Stay on schedule
Talk about your plans
Eat good food
Avoid unnecessary conflicts
Make someone else's life better
STREAM some Joy in your holiday season!
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