Quick Tips to Relieve Holiday Stress

Staying Merry and Bright this Season…no matter the mall or the mother-in-law

Ever heard the saying “It’s not about fun – it’s about family!”

Holidays are a time when friends and families gather together as one giant community to eat, drink and be merry.

December inspires us to wish for a peaceful season, peace in our hearts and peace on Earth.

With all those beautiful intentions dancing like sugarplums in our heads, why do so many of us fall to pieces during the holidays?

No, don’t blame the malls, traffic or what happened on Thanksgiving. During the holidays, expressions of unhappiness are often communicated as expressions of blame. But blaming does not create merriment or a spirit of love.

Sure, the majority of families are dysfunctional and emotionally impaired. Add a sprinkle of holiday stress, a shot of 300% eggnog and a touch of overeating and voila: merry, merry chaos!

We all have at least one, and some of us have more than one, button-pushing family member. Life demands tremendous awareness and self-control not to “go there” when someone says something rude, mean-spirited or down-right belligerent and cruel.

“It’s not about fun – it’s about family!” (Yes, you can make this your merry mantra but only if you commit to smiling and giggling when you think it, say it, live it, love it.)

If you have a wet donut of dread sitting in your stomach as you contemplate the holidays, please know you’re not alone.

Like moths to a flame, the nasty bits in people are attracted to you because you’re bright and cheerful. You’re a mirror. As you show compassion toward yourself for your dark thoughts of hurt and anger, reach even deeper and feel compassion for the person lashing out. They see a reflection – their own – and react in fear, judgment and self-loathing.

“Mirror, mirror on the wall” is a powerful rallying cry for when you want to cry because your feelings are hurt or you’re angry and disappointed.

Life IS merry and the holidays are intended to be fun and joyful. Want those family members to change and behave? Show them the love you wish to see in the world.

As you face the malls and the mother-in-laws of the world, suit up with Qigong so you’re ready to “shake it off” when Scrooge comes to town.

That Peace you want is within you. “It’s not about fun – it’s about family” is a light-hearted way of reminding us of the true spirit of the season.

We are ALL family members in this human race called Life. Each and every one.

With love & gratitude we wish you and your family a peaceful season and holiday-loving heart,

–Chris & Parisa Shelton

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