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  • Farah Elhadidy

Creating a Stress Free Holiday


The holidays are among us – a time of year that’s known for its busy nature that can lead to a lot of stress. After all, you likely have several invitations to gatherings collecting on your counter, a long list of people you need to send holiday cards to, and the daunting task of braving the shopping mall crowds to find the gifts for your loved ones.

These are all additional tasks on top of the regular items on your to-do list, I’m sure! It can be overwhelming to say the least. I wanted to share with you some of my personal favorite ways to navigate this busy and stressful time of year, and make this season a lot more enjoyable, less stressful, and a time you will remember with fond memories.

My secret weapons include…

Put forth great effort to be present. It can be difficult, I understand. It’s become a reflex to pick up our phones and scroll through Facebook or our email when we have a free moment – can you relate? One way I like to dodge this habit is by leaving my electronics in another room. Don’t even allow yourself the temptation to pick up your phone, instead try to disengage from being constantly connected and take a break for a moment, even with your love ones. When I’m feeling particularly scatter-brained, what really helps ground me is focusing on my senses. What do I smell? What do I hear? What do I feel? Stopping and thinking through what’s going on around you at that very moment really slows you to focus on the present. It’s so effective, and it is a great strategy to use year-round, not just during the holidays!

Another effective strategy is to simply give up seasonal expectations. A lot of the stress we put on ourselves this season lies in the notion that we expect things to be perfect. That’d be lovely, of course – for example, putting your entire extended family in one house is bound to have something go awry. Therefore, dropping the expectations of perfection will allow you to be prepared for when something may not go as planned. There is joy to be found in each situation, so even when something unexpected happens you will be in a better place emotionally to deal with it. Spend your energy finding gratitude in your circumstances and enjoying as much of your time as you possibly can.

Don’t allow yourself to get so overwhelmed that you start sacrificing things that make you feel good and help you in favor of something that really may not be that important after all, it’s just fluff!. Find the time to move. It’s incredibly important to keep movement in your schedule, no matter how busy you may feel. Even if it’s just a brisk walk after lunch or dinner – make it a habit to bundle up in your favorite scarf and winter coat to go for a walk alone to clear your mind, or with someone you enjoy being around. Be sure that you are getting your time outside in nature, breathing in fresh air, while burning off some calories and keeping your heart rate up.

Need more tips on how to survive the holiday and recover from the crazy feasts? Download My Free Holiday Survival Guide Here.


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Boston, MA                                                                                                              farah@wellnesswithinyourreach.com