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Stress Busters for Christmas

It has been another hectic week, and for all the work I don’t feel that I have accomplished much. As we continue the relentless march towards the Christmas break, it is easy to be overwhelmed by all that MUST be done, the functions that we HAVE to attend, the people we NEED to say goodbye to… There just doesn’t seem to be enough time OR emotional energy to do it all! So, here are ten proven stress busters to help you get to Christmas and beyond.

  1. Slow down! Refuse to allow others to manage your life, make the decision to take control and the first step is to give yourself permission to stop and catch your breath. Don’t put it off, do it now! Only then will you be able to benefit from some of these other stress busters.
  2. Simplify! Ask yourself questions like: “Is this really important? Will it really matter if no-one does this?” Sadly we are often our own worst enemy because we tend to complicate things rather than finding the simple answer!
  3. Prioritise! Yes, there are some things that MUST be done, so quit procrastinating and get them out of the road. Recognise that you are not expected to buy a present for everyone, but there are some you better not miss. My hint is write down a list of all those who you feel you “should” buy a gift for, put them in priority order and then cut the list in half!
  4. Rationalise! Recognise that you do not have the resources, the time, the money or the emotional energy to do ALL you might like. The fact is most of those “oughts” are probably based on your own unrealistic expectations. How do you know if they are real or unreal? Write them down and it usually becomes obvious!
  5. Journal! This list came when into being when I did step one, the other aspects are also included in my journal. In my busy life I find it difficult to just “slow down” and do nothing, so journaling helps me to keep it all together.
  6. Delegate! I am not the most important person in the world, and one is too small a number to achieve anything worthwhile! Therefore, I have sent Walter to do a job that I felt we both ought to do, so this could be written by the deadline! Why is it so hard to ask for help or accept help? Maybe it is our pride that gets in the way!
  7. Take the road less travelled! Sadly most of us are stuck in rut, we want to feel comfortable, so we stick to the familiar. Instead of waiting for someone else to set your agenda and force you down a road you don’t want to go, choose to do something different, allow yourself to be surprised by what you find. It might be as simple as going a different way to work or as threatening as planning to go for holidays at a different place.
  8. Be yourself! Refuse to allow others to squeeze you into a mould of their choosing! Choose to take off the mask and let people see the real you, be confident in who you are. Trying to find self confidence and acceptance via alcohol is never going to work.
  9. Forgive yourself! Yes, there are things that did not go as you planned, you may have stuffed up and failed things this year. Get over it, forgive yourself and learn from those mistakes. Life is a continual learning process, these setbacks simply prove that you are really living!
  10. Expect a miracle! The fact is, that is what Christmas is all about! It took a miracle for God to be born as a baby, and if you can get that into perspective you may be able to accept that God himself wants to work a miracle in your life! Dare I suggest that He may have already worked some in your life and you haven’t even noticed…

That is more than enough for you to read in your busy schedules, but thanks for taking the time, and it will only do you some good if you put some of these stress busters in place in your life! May God bless you in your journey, be assured of my prayers.

Chaplain Ian S Whitley

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