iStock_000007311878_SmallIt’s already that time of year again and we can feel the holiday stress creeping up on our patients. So, here are a few tips to help you relax, get back control and actually enjoy the holiday season.

1. Stop Putting so Much Pressure on Yourself. Trying to get too much done? Feel like you have to have a gift for everyone? Trying to get the perfect family photo for holiday cards? STOP! The key is to be gentle and stop putting so much pressure on yourself. You do not have to have a gift for everyone you know, it’s just not realistic or possible unless you have a personal assistant who can run around for you. You also don’t have to send out holiday cards, or you can relax a little and make them more casual instead of feeling the pressure of having the perfect photo. Sometimes the perfect photo is taken with your phone and a selfie stick.

2. Choose to have Fun. This can be hard, but choose to have a smile on your face during the chaos and have fun. Instead of getting mad while trying to find a parking space, turn on the radio, listen to your favorite song and relax. Sometimes it just means we need to choose to have a better attitude about things during this hectic time. The truth is, in many cases stress is merely a choice that we make. So, say good-bye to holiday stress and have fun.

3. Just Say No. This can be the most powerful tip of all. Just say NO! No, I am unable to volunteer this year at the bake sale due to prior commitments. You don’t have to have a reason and you definitely do not have to say I am sorry. Just say NO. Do what you want to do and so be it.

They may be simple, but these tips are powerful especially when you implement them into your life. You can dramatically reduce your holiday stress when you take back your power, stop putting so much pressure on yourself, choose to have fun and start saying no to things that don’t matter to you.

Live Mentally Healthy,
Dr. Jennie Byrne