Holiday Stress Busters

It's easy to feel overtaxed at the end of the year. Here's how to set some boundaries.
Sometimes, following the news obsessively isn't helpful.
Put your smart phone or iPad down and pay attention to your kids. Spend time doing things with them -- and I'm not talking about fancy ski trips or lavish holiday parties. I'm talking about everyday life kinds of things like wrapping presents, playing a game, or baking Christmas cookies.
We are all just looking for love and approval. This holiday season, the greatest gift we can give a difficult person -- and ourselves -- is to accept them fully, with love.
On December 6, 2014, thanks to live-stream technology, I enjoyed the 88th Annual Spelman‒Morehouse Christmas Carol Concert from the comfort of my abode. I was not disappointed.
Put yourself and your needs first this holiday season. Release the stress the holidays trigger and make a commitment to truly experience your holidays this year.
As these to-dos start to accumulate, even if they are things you want to do, all of the sudden all the space you desired for peace, harmony, and chilling this December turns into holiday stress that sucks up your time and pushes your peace right out the window.
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This can lead to a lot of guilt when you don't feel that you're living up to the ideals you have in your head or when you do live up to those standards but feel miserable while doing so and then feel even worse because you're supposed to feel jolly.
I wondered: during our amped up holiday schedules and constant content on our phones, what's all of this sensory overload doing to our health?
My hope is that my lists and my 10-minute timer keep me grounded. I hope they will help me enjoy, share, appreciate, step back, jump in and even relax. There are not too many Christmas carols that celebrate "relaxing," but that would truly bring joy to my world.
So often we cause ourselves unnecessary distress because of the way we interpret what others have said or done. We may become anxious, sad, angry, resentful, or insecure because of someone else's words or actions, or even their silence and inaction.
For some, holidays are about friends and family, eating copious amounts of comfort food, and enjoying our downtime. This year, in particular, we are faced with challenges that can weaken our immune system, and generally leave us feeling run-down, or drained. Here are some tips for getting back into the groove during holiday time.
Merry Christmas, HuffPosters! As is our tradition, we have stuffed our Featured Blog Post stocking with a line-up of holiday inspired offerings. I am spending Christmas in Hawaii with my daughters, my sister, and my ex-husband -- reflecting on the year gone by and following my own advice on reducing holiday stress (if you missed it, you can read the post here). And I am continuing another personal tradition: spending more time today on HuffPost's Impact and Good News sections, celebrating those committed to making things better, than on our Politics section, fuming over those who are making things worse. I'm also filled with gratitude and counting my blessings, which, along with my family, include our incredible HuffPost community -- our HuffPost team, our bloggers, our commenters, and all of our readers. You have been the greatest gift of all.
Why does a season that's supposed to be about happiness and joy so often result in just the opposite? A survey by Consumer Reports found that 90 percent of Americans find at least one thing stressful about the holiday season (who are these 10 percent who feel no holiday stress?). Of course, it's possible that just having such expectations of the season to begin with, and then feeling the guilt at not meeting them, might be part of the problem. But whatever the reason, stress is what a lot of people will be unwrapping this year. Fortunately, much of it is returnable. So what follows are tips not only for holiday stress, but for the rest of the year as well. If you're in that 90 percent who's stressed out this week and next, this might be the list you should be checking twice. Your mind and body -- as well as your family -- will thank you.
No matter what is causing our "winter blues," it is important to stay on our own side and have faith that these moods can and will pass. To fight these battles, we must believe in our own resilience, in our ability to tolerate pain and to overcome the inevitable hurdles life brings.
For more holiday stress busters, click here. Often the fear of falling short is worse than what would happen if you actually
Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year's -- these are supposed to be times of celebration, togetherness, and happiness. Yet, they can bring challenges to our physical and emotional health. Here are eight tips for staying healthy and happy during this season of joy.