Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Holiday Stress - Taking on the Experts

Again what a week…two Christmas parties this weekend and then back to work I went on Monday. Today, Tuesday is moving very slow and yet I almost am glad. I will be off Thursday and Friday baking desserts for our annual Christmas party on Saturday and I am looking forward to all the decorating and festivities.

I still have not decorated the tree that has been standing in the living room for over a week now, but that is on the project list for the rainy afternoon tomorrow as I plan to slip out of work at noon. Of course while the goodies are baking I will be on line shopping for hubby and hoping to beat the expedited shipping costs and trying to get some wrapping done as well for the nieces and nephew presents thankfully already bought.

As I myself will be doing, many others will begin preparing holiday feasts, attending parties and shopping obsessively for the perfect presents, all while counting blessings and enjoying the company of family and friends. So how should we handle the holiday stress?

From the experts: From long lines to even longer lists, there are numerous opportunities to become mired in holiday strain, but experts say it can be overcome by tailoring festivities to your liking as opposed to mimicking the grandiose displays reflected in commercials or movies My thoughts: No lines when internet shopping and you can have some eggnog with something real good in it, ah…Brandy comes to mind while you shop in your bunny slippers and no need to put on that mascara and lipstick…that will help combat the stress.

From the experts: People who feel high levels of stress during the holiday season often function as if they're in a robotic fog, thinking, “I don't want to do this, but there are family pressures and cultural expectations.” My thoughts: Being in a robotic fog during all this stress may not be a bad thing, relax and have a glass of wine, what could it hurt if you are already feeling like a robot?

From the experts: Drinking, eating, and smoking, excessively, being overly critical of family members, headaches, muscle tension and an accelerated heart rate are all evidence of heightened stress levels. My thoughts: Well I can already see I will be experiencing the top three, so I will take a deep breath , learn to relax, and have a glass of wine.

From the experts: While it may be easy to identify the warning signs, isolating the source of stress can be trickier; that's because stress often doesn't have to do with the event, but with how we interpret the situation. My thoughts: Okay this one sounds complicated…is it the event or not the event that is causing the stress or is it how I am interpreting it…trying to work this one out is causing me stress, pass the bottle of wine please.

From the experts: Stressful situations might include a combination of family obligations, work commitments, gift-giving expectations, traveling, shopping and cooking within a six-week window--all which add to a perfect storm of stress and conflict. My thoughts: Where did I put that bottle of wine?

From the experts: While spending often ranks high as a cause of anxiety during the holidays, this season may be particularly difficult for families dealing with the credit crisis and layoffs. My thoughts: This is a serious one, if you are not working how can you afford the wine?

From the experts: Other triggers of holiday-related stress are relationship dynamics and the emotional and physical demands of balancing work and family. This happens frequently when people sense an obligation to attend a family function or work party and feel as if they have no decision-making power. My thoughts: Okay if it is family and you like them then go, if not pour yourself a glass of wine, sit down, and call in sick.

From the experts: We often turn to comfort eating during the holidays as a coping strategy, but overeating actually leads to increased feelings of guilt about weight gain and breaking one's diet. My thoughts: Come on now, holiday food is the best, the $600.00 clothes rack…err I mean the treadmill will be in the corner of the room after the holidays are over so no need to stress, why is my glass half empty, anyone seen the wine bottle?

The experts also recommend advance planning and delegating as ways to prevent stressful situations from ever occurring… for that reason I went to the discount wine store two weeks ago, I am waaaaay ahead of all this stress.

So know you know what the experts say of this time of year and you have my thoughts as well,...find you strategy for keeping your stress as low as possible or learning what you yourself need to do to combat it once it begins…as for me all the writing has stressed me out so I think I will go and open another bottle of wine and relax in front of the $600.00 clothes rack and eat a few truffles.


Steve-O said...

Are you through "wine-ing" now?
Excellent post and excellenter wine suggestions!

Sandra said...

Hello from NY. :)