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Holiday Season Helpers – Stress Relief

Keeping the joy in your holiday season

office holiday partyPersonally, I love the holiday season. Mainly because most people are just a little bit nicer. But besides that, I enjoy the festivities: the family gatherings, the holiday parties and watching It’s a Wonderful Life. Unfortunately, the holiday season also brings a big dose of holiday stress.

With this in mind, we asked our stress-management expertFrances Lylan Wolff to offer her advice for handling three holiday scenarios.

The Holiday Party

CI: It’s the end of a long hectic week. How can I rejuvenate and be ready to shine at the office holiday party?

FLW: Be sure not to omit your exercise during the holiday season. When you’re stressed it’s more important than ever! Also, get 7-8 hours sleep each night. This should be your regular routine anyway. Before the big office party, allow plenty of extra time to prepare. This should include a long leisurely bath, and, if you’re planning to be out late, a short nap (30 minutes). Don’t forget to keep your alcohol consumption moderate. If you are drinking alcohol, every other drink should be sparkling water to keep your body hydrated.

Playing Host

CI: I’m hosting an open house or family dinner or holiday party in my home. How can I keep my cool and enjoy the festivities?

FLW: 1. Don’t think you must do everything yourself! If it’s a family dinner, assign everyone a dish to bring–appetizer, salad, vegetable, or dessert. Whether it’s family or not, if you don’t have paid help, ask participants to assist you pouring drinks, serving, clearing, etc. People actually like to do this as it gives them something to do and helps those who don’t know other quests to introduce themselves. If people offer to help clean up or wash dishes, let them!

2. Don’t expect everything to go perfectly smoothly. It’s not a real party unless you have three screw ups, so expect that!

3. Before the party starts and when anything goes wrong, stop to do three belly breaths before you move! It helps relax you and you’ll think more clearly.

4. Remember you’re doing this to have fun! Problems are a part of the process; don’t let them ruin your fun.

Shopping Stress

CI: It’s Saturday afternoon, I’ve spent the entire day holiday shopping at the local mall. What can I do to relax, take a time out for me?

FLW: Be sure to schedule at least an hour into your day for yourself. It should be a quiet time with no interruptions. This might be for a massage, a facial, a long bath, a nap, a walk, meditation or relaxation technique, or just quiet time to read a good book. During this time be sure to include some diaphragmatic breathing–breaths which come from the belly, not the chest. This kind of breathing relaxes you, releases stress, and helps you think better. Diaphragmatic breathing is natural whenever you are lying down or when you’re very relaxed. It’s important to consciously learn to do it when you’re in an upright position as chest breathing, which may people do regularly, is really a type of stress reaction breathing, which is associated with a number of stress-related medical conditions.

About Annette Richmond, MA

Annette Richmond, MA, CARW, CCELW, is a Certified Resume Writer, Certified LinkedIn Profile Writer, and former recruiter. Her career advice has been featured by Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Business Insider, Monster, Vault, and WSJ. She helps motivated, senior level professionals tell their unique career story. She also serves as executive editor of career-intelligence.com.


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