What Is Holiday Stress and How to Manage It (Part I)

by - December 18, 2017

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It's that time of year again. Gut-wrenching stress can turn our hair grey, and the dream of retreating to an exotic island, blissfully sipping from a coconut cocktail gets more and more appealing and at the same time more distant. A few people have the natural ability to be more stress-resilient than others, but the majority of us can't avoid the struggles happening inside us. There's the high-paced workload before the holidays as companies try to cram in everything before the days off around Christmas and New Year's Day with little regard for the health and well-being of their employees. Time is aimlessly, but anxiously spent in thinking and looking for the ideal gifts - we all want to make our loved ones happy! There's also organising family gatherings, making travel arrangements, negotiating annual leave and then the pressure of harmonious family dynamics. Did I miss anything? I'm sure I did, because each one of us has our own problems on top of the holiday-related stressors and yet we have to make it work. We're taking on the responsibility to help you not only to lessen the weight of this year's holiday stress, but also help you enjoy it. Below you can find a few practical suggestions - it's a bit harder than breathing and list-making, but I believe it's ultimately more effective in the long-term. It's a guide to changing your perspective and show you that you can feel content regardless of the endless stream of busy-ness in your life.
And because we know how little free time you have, we're splitting the content into halves. Part II will be released next Monday!

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It's high time we take the word ''perfect'' and its demanding definition out of our vocabulary. Forget about being perfect or making something perfect. It's okay to do your best and work towards a great outcome, but there's a difference between realizing what a great outcome is and what a perfect one is. According to the dictionary, perfect means ''absolute, complete, as good as it possible to be.'' I know, everything can be made better, that's why scientists spend their lifetime working on the ultimate discovery, not whining and not giving up. And you're probably there sitting and thinking ''Well, the word exists for a reason, we didn't just make it up to strive for something unattainable. This seems ridiculously futile of us.'' I get you, it doesn't make sense why we have a word for something that we want to have so badly, but at the same time we can't really attain.

The trick is to take the good aspects of it and know when to stop and let go. It gives us the ounce of motivation we need to reach our goals, but at the same time it can turn real bad real soon if we keep trying to achieve something that may not be possible. The dangers of perfectionism in our day and age are growing, we want to be perfect in our jobs, in our relationships, in parenthood, and also in our Instafeeds. How many of you click the heart button on the 'picture-perfect' images and how many of you allow yourself to share a photo that can't even compete with the ones you liked? Yeah, we all want to look good, be good, do good, but on what price and where is the line? Perfectionism is a deeply-wired construct, which I want to dedicate a proper attention to some other time.

For now, let's do a challenge. Whatever activity you occupy yourself with this week  - pause for a minute and think. Is it really possible, and I mean in reality (not fantasy land) to get marginally better in the amount of time you have and how important it is for you to make it that much better? Then ask yourself why. Once you have the answers then, by all means, continue if you wish so, but also know that you can make the healthy decision not to. The report will turn out equally as good, the Christmas party will end up fine too and your best friend will just have to like that top. When something causes you emotional anguish repeatedly, you owe it to yourself to break the pattern and choose a healthier option.

Try this little technique in the next couple of days and share with us how it worked out for you. Come back for Part II next week!

Wellness is the place where you can join us on our journey to test some of those lifestyle tools and techniques the world has given us in its attempt to help us 'relax'. Working out, breathing, foods to avoid or cling to, journaling, and so on. We will share with you what worked, what didn't, and what surprised us most. And of course, encourage you to try your own!

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