Managing Holiday Stress – Don’t Go Overboard

Managing Holiday Stress – Don’t Go Overboard

If the holidays feel like a roller coaster you board on Thanksgiving Day and ride until January, maybe it’s time to rethink your celebrations. Too often the holidays become a time of “too much”. Too much food. Too much alcohol. Too much partying until the wee hours. All of this excess puts stress on our bodies as well as on our self-control. More to the point, it can actually decrease our ability to enjoy the holidays.

How do we find the happy medium between when more is actually better and more just becomes, in a way, less? Less tasty, less fun, less joyful?

If you compare celebrating to eating a piece of pie, the happy medium becomes easier to find. The first bite is delicious. The second bite is delicious. If the slice isn’t too large, the last bite may be only slightly less delicious than the first. But start on that second piece of pie and see what happens. The first bite of the second piece of pie is not nearly as good as the first bite of the first piece of pie. In fact, the more you eat, the less delicious the pie becomes. Your taste buds are no longer surprised by a new delight. Your stomach is starting to get full. The price of eating too much is beginning to set in. Maybe you should have stopped after the first piece of pie.

As all the parties and dinners we attend during the holidays start to add up, they can begin to feel like that second piece of pie. We get tired of staying up late. We neglect the exercise that was helping us feel good. We drink too much, buy too much, eat too much and don’t leave ourselves any quiet time for reflecting and absorbing the peace of the season.  When we start to feel that the holidays are draining us of joy rather than filling us up, maybe it’s time to push back from the table.