A New Twist on Managing Holiday Stress – Who Will You Be this Holiday Season?

As the holidays approach, you are probably anticipating holiday plans with family, traveling, and looking forward to some time off from work. As fun as the holidays can be, this also can be a very stressful time of the year.

If you are a manager or business owner, you actually may end up working longer hours when your employees take time off. Then there are the holiday parties to plan and attend, some we eagerly expect, others that we would welcome a bout with the flu just to have an excuse to miss. Then there's the shopping, the cooking and getting the house ready for guests. Add to that any conflict or tension in your family and you have a recipe for a stressful holiday season!

You can manage your stress to your advantage. Keep in mind that you are in charge of your stress level. You decide how you will let others affect you. You decide what gets done and what to let go of. You determine your experience of the holidays.

Your mindset determines your outlook, your actions and your experience. Deciding who and how you will be has a tremendous impact on your holiday experience.

Do you want to be someone who is stressed and overwhelmed this holiday season? Do you want to rush from one activity to the next, overwhelmed by all that you have decided needs to be done, panicking and procrastinating, unable to figure out where to start? Do you want to be someone who gets swept up in the tensions of those around you?

Or do you want to be someone who truly celebrates the holidays, enjoying time with family and friends, calmly going about your day? The choice is yours. Change your mindset and change your experience.

Set your intention at the start of each day. Tell yourself, "Today I will be …" Think about what you want to get out of your day. Focus on the experience you want to have, not on what you want to get done. After all, ten years from now, no one remembers the gift you bought them, the pie you baked or the tasteful holiday decor in your office. Ask yourself, "How can I make my day meaningful and enjoyable?"

Happy Holidays!