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More Joy, Less Stress For The Holidays

The holidays are a lot of fun but they also bring a lot of stress.  Everything we have to do for the holidays is piled on top of everything we normally have to do. Here are some suggestions to help lift your spirits and reduce your stress level during the most wonderful and stressful time of the year.

Tap into your happy childhood. Go through your old photos when you were a carefree kid excited about the holidays.  Use a color copier to enlarge them to 8x10, 11x14 or 16x20 mini posters for decorations.  Put them in inexpensive plastic box frames or clip frames. If you have old holiday pictures of friends and family who will be coming to visit you, make some fun mini posters of them too.  Think of how good that will make them feel to see themselves in your home.

Watch the clutter. Obstacles in your home can create obstacles in your life, so don’t create obstacles with your decorations.  If you have to step over it, duck under it, or squeeze by, its going to add more stress to your holiday.  Too much clutter makes the natural energy flow in your home slow down and get stuck, which makes us feel stuck or depressed.  A good cleaning and clutter clearing before you add decorations is a good idea. 

Chuck the negative stuff. Everything inside your home has a memory or meaning attached to it. When you look at something, it will either give you a positive emotional response, a neutral response or negative response. The more negatives you have around the home, the more negative the energy in the home. Getting rid of all the negatives and surrounding yourself with positives raises the energy in the home and helps keep your energy positive and upbeat.  Keep that in mind while you're decorating and don’t put up any decorations that create negative feelings.

Angry? The more stressed we are, the easier it is to become angry. However, it is physiologically impossible to be angry when your muscles are relaxed.  Anger cannot exist without muscle tension.  If the holidays start getting to you, take an adult “time out” and go limp like a rag doll.  Relax your body without tensing one single muscle. Not a clenched jaw, or even your baby toe. 

Get a good night's dark to keep your mood more positive during the holidays.  Melatonin is the hormone that controls our mood and our sleep.  It's produced by the pineal gland at night, in the dark. Light makes the body think its daytime. You can help your body make the right amount of melatonin for a more positive mood and better sleep simply by sleeping in the dark.  Don’t sleep with the light on, or TV or with a streetlight coming through your bedroom window.  Or your holiday light display.

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