It’s the Holidays. You’re Stressed. Now What?

‘Tis the season—for your blood pressure to go up, that is. If the onslaught of the holidays is causing you to be irritable instead of iridescent, join the crowd. How do you decompress and get your joyful groove back? We chatted up author and personal coach Susan Harrison, a PhD in Educational Ministry, who specializes in—you guessed it—finding ways to de-stress. Here are a few tips and techniques for not being fa-la-la-la-lame.

What is
one tip you have for lowering holiday stress?
“Everyone knows that Thanksgiving is all about being thankful. We are thankful for friends, family, our health, homes and much more. But, what I want to do is to encourage people to be intentionally thankful each day on small things.”

What do you mean small things?
“Either little things or things we just take for granted. I’m thankful that I can walk to the bathroom without assistance. I’m thankful the milk is good for one more day. I’m thankful that my splinter worked itself out. I’m thankful for lotion Kleenexes so my nose doesn’t have to turn bright red with every sniffle.”

How can we be intentional?
“It’s all about living a life of being intentionally thankful. It starts with reminders; you can use your phone or calendar or just notes around the house. Once you spend a month or so stopping and noticing what you are thankful for, due to your reminders, it will become a habit. That’s really the goal.”

How do we benefit?
“Living a life of thankfulness really brings down stress by helping you to change your perspective. You will find you are less critical of others and yourself and things don’t get to you as much.”