Our Advice ...
holidays for you and yours
holidays mean many things to many people. We have our family traditions,
religious beliefs, favorite foods and our vision for how we want
this holiday to be special for everyone. For most people, the
holidays bring mixed feelings. We want the warmth and closeness
of family and community during this time, and while we might enjoy
the food preparation, shopping, wrapping and additional social
gatherings, we can also feel very pressured to do everything just
right and expect everyone to get along. This pressure can lead
to undue stress and disappointment if the expectations we place
on ourselves are too high and unrealistic. So how can we set up
our holiday plans and expectations to be most successful?
from Dr. Nancy Snyderman at Dr. Koop.com:
Remember your values. The holidays are a time for giving, sharing,
caring and being with family and friends. They are not about what
you buy, the crystal on your dinner table, which parties you attend,
or whether you drown your kids in toys. We all complain about
the materialism and commercialism of the season, but many of us
pursue it madly anyway. True contentment and satisfaction will
not be found neatly wrapped in a present.
Don't be Superman/Superwoman. Set limits for the season in terms
of time, spending and activities. You simply cannot do everything
or be everywhere at once.
Give yourself time to grieve. Holidays can be painful if you are
spending them without a loved one who died during the year. There
is no magic formula for relieving the pain of such a loss. It
may help somewhat if you designate special time during the holidays
to honor and remember the person who died.
Face your feelings about family conflicts. Do not expect family
problems to vanish during the holidays. They may actually get
worse, precisely because of such unrealistic expectations. This
is not a good time to resolve conflicts. Try to focus on the positive
and overlook the negative. If the conflict is just unbearable
for you, minimize the time you spend at the family gathering.
Plan to do something pleasurable to reduce your stress beforehand
Acknowledge your expectations. Give serious thought to unrealistic
and perhaps subconscious expectations about the way things "should"
be and what you "must" do. Setting realistic goals and expectations
will help you get more out of life all year round. But it is especially
important now, when the stress of trying to create the perfect
holidays can really wear you down.
Continue to exercise and eat well. The opportunity and excuses
exist for you to slack off on your exercise or good eating habits,
but try to keep some of these good habits in place through the
holidays. You'll feel better about yourself in the long run and
exercise is a great stress-buster anytime.
Take time for yourself. Schedule time for you to do something
pleasant and relaxing. Nourish yourself so you can truly give
to others during this special time of year and feel good about
into the holiday season with these ideas and tips foremost in
our minds can help us be more thoughtful about how we spend the
holidays and ultimately help us enjoy them more.
from the Faculty & Employee Assistance Program. As with any time
of year, the staff of FEAP are available to meet with you for
further assessment, brief counseling, problem-solving and help
with referrals. Call 243-2643 for a free and confidential appointment.