I’m not one to totally freak out over the holidays. Then again, I don’t have five kids to buy for or a ton of relatives coming to my house to eat a meal I planned and executed on my own. And yet, many of you do. This can cause no small amount of stress indeed.
I do fall prey, however, to ideas of things I could be or should be doing, like make peppermint bark to give away as gifts, or decorate my 300 sq ft apartment. This I call falling into the “wouldn’t it be nice if” trap of the holidays–as if, during the busiest time of year, you’re somehow going to have more time to do stuff. Right.
Regardless, holidays present their own brand of stress for reach of us. Whether that’s fear of not being perfect, fear of friction at a family event, or just a general dread about being able to do what needs to be done. It’s all like a heightened, holly-scented state of chaos. We react to the blink of holiday lights and the familiar din of Christmas music in a kind of Pavlovian consumer response, causing us to all but ooze cortisol.
But as with anything you want to change (i.e., being stressed), you have to get in front of it and decide to handle things differently. You have to set an intention. To that end, I’m happy to share a Holiday Pledge that I helped create for a client of mine, meQuilibrium, the first-ever customized, subscriber-based online stress management program.
The idea is this: Since it’s easier to prevent a fire than put one out, holiday stress management starts now, not later. The pledge (featured above and here) is a promise to do things differently this year. And in so doing, to take back the holidays as a time of joy, sharing, and even relaxation (imagine that). I think we could all use that.
There is a gimme to this, too (because what would holidays be without gifts?). What happens is this: When you click on the pledge, you’re taken to a pledge page, and you have the opportunity to put your info in and get something for free: 6 weeks of unlimited access to the meQ program, which includes a free stress assessment and a series of video tutorials (featuring moi, your trusty guide. It’s true–I shot, performed, and edited all of them in my teeny tiny apartment, though you’d never know it).
Six weeks. That should get you straight through the holidays at least! meQ teaches you the tools to assess and address your most potent sources of stress. Not just by telling you to just bliss out, but by harnessing the science of cognitive behavioral therapy and proven techniques to shift your stress response. You’ll see.
So don’t wish for a Merry Christmas this year; decide to make it that way. Starting, like, right now.
Feel free to share the pledge. And spread some joy.