Turning Christmas stress into Christmas joy begins now

How do you change Christmas stress to Christmas joy? Stop and listen to your heart, and pay attention to your feelings. Be thankful for all the good things in your life.

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(Decorating the Christmas tree) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons from Wikimedia Commons

BOISE, Idaho, Nov. 30, 2015 – Now is the time of year when almost everyone takes a break from the normal routine of daily life. For many individuals and families, it’s a time to get busy, cook and join together in the old tradition of enjoying a big Christmas feast.

For college students who are attending school miles from home, it is a long-awaited break from the rigors of hitting the books and taking finals, and a much needed warm welcome home. But for most people in most occupations, Christmas becomes the Christmas rush.

What are your plans?

How will you spend your Christmas holiday this year? Will you take time to stop and think about what your are thankful for in your life? Will you make time to get together in person with the people in your family that you don’t see very often or spend time rekindling old friendships?

Take the time to see the beauty in life this holiday season - Image by Karen Breshnahan - All rights reserved
Take the time to see the beauty in life this holiday season – Image by Karen Breshnahan – All rights reserved

Or, maybe this holiday is just a time to spend being close to those who walk beside you on your life path; your spouse or significant other and your dearest friends.

Time to de-stress

Christmas is a good time to do many things. It is a good de-stressing time, when you can relax, kick off your shoes and curl up by the fire, absorbed in a good book. A few extra days can mean a lot to anyone who works at a frantic pace at a career job, while dealing with piles of work on our desks or in the shop  and hundreds of emails on the computer that beg for attention.

It never seems to end. We never seem to ever get caught up with the workload, and that can be an ongoing frustration that can cause anyone to build up extra stress and lack some of the physical endurance to get everything done.

Chance to unwind

Remove stress (Free photobank www.tOrange.us) / ©www.tOrange.us Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Remove stress (Free photobank www.tOrange.us) / ©www.tOrange.us Creative Commons License

A few days now could be a good opportunity to just stop, take a pause and think for a moment about what you need to do to take better care of your own health. Now might be a great time to learn some yoga moves, visit the nearest health club  for a quick workout and soak in the sauna.

Or you could spend time getting a massage or visiting a spa, or maybe you are just a carefree millennial traveler who wants to head out of town somewhere, where you can rekindle your own spirit (or your romance) and recharge your batteries.

Think about what you eat

As you sit down to relax, this might be a good time to think about your eating habits and what you can do to eat healthier meals. Your overall health is directly affected by what you eat every day, so if you are tired all the time, it could be because you are not getting the best nutrition. Maybe you need to stop eating so many sweets, or drinking so much coffee, or buying energy drinks.

It is so easy to get caught up in the daily rush of living, that some people just grab whatever they can grab and stuff whatever they can stuff down because they are in such a hurry all the time. Now that so many recent studies are pointing out the increasing concern about sugary drinks and the rise in chronic illnesses, now would be a good time to watch your family’s sugar intake, especially if you are concerned about weight loss.

Get out and exercise

After you relax on your time off, maybe you could get out and breathe the fresh air. Take a drive, go for a hike, explore somewhere new. When you have time off work, one of the best ways to spend it is getting some exercise, especially if you have gotten out of the habit of regular exercise.

Ernst Vikne, Creative Commons
Ernst Vikne, Creative Commons

Some people get into doing extreme daily workouts and do specific workouts, training for competitive events such as triathlons or marathons. Those are great, but not everyone wants to go to that extreme. Just finding a way to get regular exercise and making it part of your daily routine is the most important thing you can do to improve your health.

Maybe you just need a little more exercise, like just running short distances or going for short walks around the neighborhood. There are many opportunities to get exercise, and you can do it anywhere, even in your living room.

Good time to make business plans

Time off is good news for everyone, especially near the end of the year. It gives managers a quick break in their workloads. Businesses, especially those who experience a slowdown this time of year, can do some extra meetings and hold planning sessions.

Next year’s immediate goals can be examined, and plans can be made for upcoming events like preparing for trade shows or conferences that will be going on next spring.

Time to decorate and create

Another great thing about Christmas is that we all need the extra time to start making our holiday plans. Families go out and get their Christmas trees. Kids can be home from school and enjoy more family time.

Couples can spend a little extra time together being romantic.

All of us can get in the holiday spirit and get in gear to celebrate the holidays. For many people this is a time when they can go all out on Christmas and Christmas decor, especially for anyone who actively pursues crafts.

Now is the time to start planning and carrying out those creative craft projects. Whether it’s a home-sewn quilt, a woodworking project or dozens of artistic plans, we all can use some time right now to plan our crafting projects so they are done before Christmas.

Children's crafts Christmas tree toy (Free photobank www.tOrange.us) / ©www.tOrange.us Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. For internet website the hyperlink on www.tOrange.us. Rights beyond the scope of this license are available at: http://www.torange.us/2347.html.
Children’s crafts Christmas tree toy (Free photobank www.tOrange.us) / ©www.tOrange.us Creative Commons License

When Christmas rolls around, make sure you take time to unwind first, then get some exercise, plan some healthy meals and do some brainstorming for your business ideas, as well as for the creative projects that might be tucked away in your closet at home.

Most of all, stop and listen to your heart, and pay attention to your feelings. Be thankful for all the good things in your life, especially your family and friends and enjoy a few moments of your free time in their company.

Merry Christmas!

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Karen Bresnahan
Karen Bresnahan is a professional writer, photographer and artist from Boise, Idaho. She has a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and photography from the University of Idaho and owns Idaho Naturals Photography and Desertscapes, KB Lifelines Positive Quotes, and Romantic Idaho Weddings. She enjoys writing about health and fitness, motivation, positive relationships, travel, photography, art, science, psychology, spirituality, education, parenting, history and business. You can contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @idaho1111. See more of her writing at https://plus.google.com/u/2/+KarenBresnahan1111/posts and visit her website at http://www.idahonaturals.com/