Dear stress, let’s break up. At least for Christmas.

woman in a lotus

“I love the holidays. They are so peaceful and happy.” – You.

Here are some tips on how to keep the holidays meaningful and reminders on how to let the stress go with information from the No Stress Foundation and the Center for the New American Dream.

5 Ways to a Meaningful / No Stress Holiday

1. Don’t forget to breathe. 

Usually when we are stressed, we forget to breathe. It’s simple. Consciously breathing will allow your body and mind to be more relaxed … We promise. This works!

2. Ask for help when you need it. 

Communicating your needs and asking for support whether it’s help wrapping presents, washing dishes, cooking, or a ride to the airport, is a great way to take care of stress. Solution? When someone asks “can I help with that?” (and you need help) … say yes.

3. Spend within your means.

The holiday season is meant to be loving and joyful and can sometimes get overshadowed by the pressure to give. Knowing (and honoring) your limits is one of the most important ways that we can live a No Stress life … and remember, gifts don’t always have to come in a box … here are some alternative (meaningful) gifts suggestions courtesy of the Center for the New American Dream

  • Give the gift of time by making a custom gift card for a service (babysitting, car washing, pet sitting, chores, fixing dinner, etc).
  • Share a skill. If you can knit, offer to teach someone. Same if you play a mean banjo, pick hot stocks, or whip up gourmet meals.
  • Consider shopping for used items for gifts.
  • Give back to your community. Put together care packages for the homeless, or donate time to your favorite nonprofit.
  • Cap family holiday spending at $100. Journalist Bill McKibben, author of “The End of Nature,” says this limit forces families to be resourceful about their gifts and spending.
  • Consider alternative gift-giving. For roughly what you might spend on a new video game, you could educate a child for a year in some remote parts of the world. That’s just one of the many alternative gifts to consider atWorld Concerns global gift guide. Or, for what you might spend on an iPad mini, you can defray the cost of a deep well to provide children drinkable water. You can give similar gifts of education and food at Alternative Gifts International.

4. Do things because you WANT to (not because you HAVE to).

The holidays can be decked with obligation – you can keep it jolly by replacing the  “should’s” and “have to’s” with “I can’t wait to do that” … and by the way, it’s o.k. to say no every once in a while.

booklet_cover_20125. If the drama comes, let it go. 

Let’s be honest, the holidays will present some drama. Solution: See step #1, followed by letting it go … Seriously, this works too!

For more tips on keeping the meaningful in the holidays and letting the stress go, click here for your Free “Simply the Holiday Guide” and remember to breathe.

Happy Everything!