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A Grinch with a Grudge

Just like the Grinch, sometimes our hearts shrink a little as Christmas looms. Let’s reduce some holiday stresses this year.

Forget about creating a “perfect” Christmas. Striving for perfection often causes anxiety, procrastination, and feeling that it is just not good enough. The people you care about, care about you. They want you to be relaxed and happy, not exhausted, sleep deprived, and worried.

It is fun to find “the perfect gift” but rare, so carry only the cash you think you will need and spend it carefully. Small, inexpensive items can be just a memorable and cherished as anything more expensive. If you have run out of time, gift certificates are always welcome.

What about that family member who always makes you angry. Let’s call him or her Chris.

Stop “shoulding” on yourself (Dr. Albert Ellis). Thinking to yourself that Chris should or shouldn’t ………… is guaranteed to upset you. Saying it out loud is likely to lead to a fight.

Practice saying to yourself, “I would prefer/want that Chris ………….. That will give you a few seconds to realize that you cannot change Chris, so you may as well stop upsetting yourself about Chris. Imagine calmly watching Chris behaving badly, and just letting it go.

Change “I should ……. (have better Christmas decorations, lights, cards, presents, etc.)” to “I prefer/want to have whatever I can handle with the time and energy I have now.”

Here are a few more Do’s and Don’ts that you might find helpful:

Do make a realistic To Do list for the remaining time.

Do prioritize the list, so that the task that will give you the most satisfaction is done first, then the next most, and the next most. Inevitably, what does not get done doesn’t matter so much.

Don’t wrap stocking stuffers – that is what the stocking is for!

Don’t allow yourself to be resentful about the past.

“Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
– Malachy McCourt –

Do enjoy the wonderful food, just take smaller portions and savour each bite. Then you will not have too many extra pounds to lose in January.

Do allow time for what you enjoy best at this holiday time.

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