3 Powerful Antidotes to Holiday Chaos

Most people have mixed feelings about the holidays. Even those who love all of the hustle and celebration of the season would admit that it gets exhausting. People who are sensitive to increased activity levels and busyness might harbor a sense of dread at and can’t wait for the holidays to be over.

If you feel your stomach go into knots about the anxiety and added stress, here are three ideas to help you cut the Frazzle Factor down to manageable levels.

1) Supportive Rituals – our psyches respond well to a feeling of certainty. When we are traveling or running around to a lot of unusual social engagements, it’s easy to send our minds and nervous systems into high alert because normal routines are disrupted. Designing and sticking with a few simple rituals will send important messages to your subconscious mind that “everything is going to be okay”-which means that you will enjoy a greater sense of calm and resilience overall. What sort of rituals? This is really up to you but they should be things that you can be consistent with, even when traveling or managing a scattered schedule. For example, take a hot bath, spend five minutes in mindfulness meditations, make your bed, find a quiet spot to read a book for twenty minutes, take a walk. Find one or two things that feel good to you and that don’t require elaborate preparation. Commit to yourself to do them each day. Your mind and nerves will thank you!

2) Plan Your Downtime – even if you are an extraverted personality and get your inner batteries charged by being around people a lot, the fact is that holiday times often put us into situations with many different personalities and some of them are taxing for various reasons. You may feel a lot of pressure to be “on” all of the time-attending parties, serving dinners, shopping with friends, etc. Psychologists tell us that the human brain needs more downtime than we often give it. It’s a good idea to get clear and focused on how much “Me Time” you need and then be willing to take it, even during the busy season. Sometimes even carving out a quiet hour or taking a 20-minute nap will do wonders! You will be better for saying “yes” to yourself and the people you love will get the best of you this way, too.

3) Organization – much like the supportive rituals in #1, taking a few minutes out of each day to organize things will often settle your subconscious mind down and reduce your anxiety levels dramatically. This can come in the form of making To Do lists, balancing your checkbook, cleaning out the fridge, washing and vacuuming the car, or tidying your closet. Pick something that can be managed in one to three hours and get it organized. You will be surprised at how calm and centered you feel.

Do you have favorite, tested ways to help with the holiday chaos?

I’d love to hear about them. Please feel free to send me a note and tell me.

In the meantime, I wish you a wonderful holiday season-filled with warmth and good things.


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