Thanksgiving is a one hundred percent stress free holiday…yeah, right! Stress-proofing the holidays is a key factor to making your time with family and friends enjoyable and memorable. Memorable in a positive sense, that is. The holiday season – from Halloween to New Year’s – can be a time of high stress and anxiety for many people. The holidays present their own unique stresses and challenges. But with a few well-placed, practical steps you can proactively secure the promise of a great season.
Much of our stress during this time of year is brought about by way of our own expectations. What we hope to have happen compared to what actually happens is often the source of our frustrations and stress. In the middle of having family over is not the opportune time to stop and regroup. A little pre-planning, anticipation, and early decision-making can go a long way in reducing your stress. Just taking the time – even just 15-30 minutes – to make up your mind how you’re going to set your mind for the holidays can save you boat-loads of anxiety.
The holidays present a dizzying array of demands — parties, shopping, baking, cleaning and entertaining — to name just a few. Making up your mind on how you approach these demands will go a long way in alleviating potential points of stress. It might be much easier than you think.
Keep the Main Thing the Main Thing
Above everything, make a commitment to keep the main focus of this time – giving thanks to God for His blessings and indescribable gift of Christ – the main focus of this time. Go out of your way to emphasize your gratitude to the Lord for His many blessings. As the host – or even a guest – lead or suggest going around the table/room and identify those things your family is thankful. Lead your family in prayer. Focus on the birth of Christ and the connection of the manger to the cross. Remember, this is a time to worship God for who He is and all that He has done for you. Making a specific and intentional effort to keep this focus in your heart will help to head-off any troubles you might encounter. This focus will also help you to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit, even if you have a challenging season.
Your mindset is the primary weapon to guard against experiencing a negative holiday season. Alongside your attitude, this episode shares some practical steps you can take to stress-proof your holidays.