Need a personal strategy to avoid stress through the holidays? Why not take a cue from someone who has the most reason to be stressed but is truly the jolliest fellow around! Despite the overwhelming pressures of a hard deadline, the high demands and expectations of millions of children added to the never-ending challenges of managing a world-wide Christmas corporation, Santa manages to keep a twinkle in his eye and a song on his lips! Here are 8 tiny reindeer-nuggets of stress management wisdom that we can learn from Old St. Nick…
1) The List – Write it Down
Why do you think Santa has that LIST? I am a hand-written list person but any method for list-making is one of the best ways to set your mind at ease every day. Use a notepad app on your phone… purchase a pretty Christmas Notepad to use all season – whatever it takes to remind yourself of all those tiny details! You will feel your anxiety drop every time you “check it twice!”
2) The Elves – Delegate
Santa knows the value of letting others help him. Just look at how many mall Santas he recruits every year and …of course…all those elves! There is no shame in letting others lend a hand. You would be surprised at how many people really want to help out during the holidays. Your children can even be wonderful little helpers if you are willing to let them! Loosen the reigns a little and realize that everything does NOT have to be perfect. You will find out that sharing the load multiplies the joy of the season!
3) The Suit – Keep Fashion Simple!
That old fur-trimmed red suit just never gets old does it? Why do we worry so much about finding something NEW for every party event? If you have a great Christmas accessory, don’t be ashamed to bring it out again this year. (Unless of course you have lost so much weight it doesn’t fit anymore. This is NOT the time to fret over clothes shopping! Simple solids, even jeans paired with a traditional red scarf and a jingle bell necklace always makes you shine!
4) The Cookies – Allow Yourself A Special Treat!
I know Santa could use a little restraint, but when it comes to the holidays he knows that this special time of year merits a little indulgence. Plan a special time and place (i.e. the night before Christmas) when you can enjoy a holiday favorite in moderation and allow yourself at least one pass on a spontaneous guilty pleasure!
5) The Sleigh- Enjoy the Ride!
You can’t deny that Ole’ Kris Kringle is in his element as he races around the world on Christmas Eve. How about you? Even if you are saddled with responsibilities and obligations that you don’t relish, find a way to add your own special flair to all that you do! Be true to yourself and unleash your passions so that every holiday chore becomes a sleigh ride!
6) The Reindeer – Play With Your Pets!
Remember those Reindeer games?! Santa obviously has a soft spot in his heart for his furry friends. If you don’t have a pet, this is the perfect season to adopt one or pet sit for a friend! It is scientifically proven to be a great stress reducer. Spending time with pets calms and soothes you!
7) The Sack –Give Generously!
No one knows this better than Father Christmas! Giving from the heart has a way of melting away stress. Look with a heart of love and you will find an abundance of small and unexpected ways you can give. Generosity is a source of blessing not just to others but also to yourself.
8) The Ho Ho Ho – Laugh!
You just can’t get any jollier than Santa Clause right? Don’t take it all so seriously this year. A good belly laugh will chase the stress out of any situation. When things don’t go as planned during the holidays (and that is going to happen) try to find the humor in it and giggle the stress away!
Most of all, let LOVE guide your holiday season. Santa is just a picture to us of the true spirit of joy and giving that is born out of the great love who came down to us at Christmas in Jesus Christ.
You will find that the love of Christ is the true guiding light that pierces through the darkness of stress and anxiety. Regardless of the pain you may be facing or the family & life circumstances that are less than ideal, the love of the Savior promises to bring hope and peace when you look to the manger and see the very heart of God. Merry Christmas!