It's that crazy time of year, but you didn't really need me to tell you that, eh? Between shopping and parties and wrapping and deadlines, you've probably figured that out all on your own. But have you given any thought at all as to how you can manage this season with less stress?
Yeah. I thought so. I hadn't either . . . until now. This list is as much for me as it is for you.
5 Ways to Lower the Stress Level this Holiday Season
You don't owe anyone your attention 24/7. It's not only advisable but mandatory that you shut off the screaming squawkboxes in your life: your laptop, cellphone, tablet, your mother. Okay, well, you can't actually shut up your mom, but all electronic devices need to have a time out daily between now and Christmas. You choose the hour, but make sure you choose one. And stick to it. Unplug an hour a day, Hoss, and let yourself recharge.
2. Take a Break from Writing
How can you write about life if you don't experience life? Pull your head out of your story world for a day or week or even the rest of December. Unless you're under a Dec. 31st deadline (and seriously, what publisher gives that for a deadline?) step away from the keyboard and live in the moment. Your manuscript will be there waiting for you when you get back in January -- and your writing will be the better for it.
Stop whining. This is my least favorite one on the list too, but it's here for a reason. You know you're going to give in to that plate of cookies or half gallon of eggnog or whatever holiday delectable is number one on your temptation list. Logging more time at the gym will ward off those extra calories and lower your stress level at the same time.
4. Quit Comparing
Newsflash: you are not Martha Stewart. Thankfully. The world can handle only one of that robot humanoid. But that's not my point. Here's the dealio . . . you do you. Do Christmas like you, not anyone else. If that means you have no greenery or Christmas cards or whatever, that's okay. Sometimes a smile is all it takes to make someone's day.
5. Dig into the Word
It's easy to lose your focus when you're tired and cranky and the world is nutty nuts. Spend time every day reading God's word. After all, Christmas is all about Him coming down to earth, not some fat man in a red suit. Devote as much time to Bible reading as you do to Christmas movies.
There you have it. Sounds easy enough, but the hard part is putting these things into action every day. It will be worth it in the long run, though.
Feel free to share in the comment section any de-stressors that are your favorites.
I hear voices. Loud. Incessant. And very real. Which basically gives me
two options: choke back massive amounts of Prozac or write fiction. I chose the
latter. Way cheaper. I've been writing since I discovered blank wall space and
Crayolas. I seek to glorify God in all that I write...except for that graffiti
phase I went through as a teenager. Oops. Did I say that out loud?