Friday, December 7, 2012

Reduce Holiday Stress

Managing Holiday Stress 

Did you ever find yourself being 'thankful' that the holiday was over?  Do you find yourself stressed with all the new activity, crammed schedules, and so many changes from your normal lifestyle?  Did you ever wonder why we try to stuff happiness into one day a year?  Did you ever feel sick after receiving your credit card bill for all those purchases you made above your budget?  If so, you are not alone.

One definition of stress is simply, Change.  When the body is put into a new change or activity there are certain results that occur.  Some of these include:
  • Blood Pressure Rises
  • Cholesterol and Fats are mobilized in the Blood Stream
  • Sugar Output is increased to fuel muscles
  • Blood Clotting time is reduced   
  • "Stress Hormones" are increased
  • Muscles become tense and tight
  • White Blood Cell count is reduced making us susceptible to infections  
  • Depression increases 
Here are some simple Stress Management Techniques you might try during the Holidays:
  •  Do Fewer Activities.  Do you really need to send Holiday cards to people you don't really know?  Do you really need to make cookies and other foods?  Do you really need to spend money on gifts for co-workers?  Is that larger tree really necessary? Do you really need to decorate the outside of the house and yard?
  • Learn to Say NO! Set a budget and stick to it.  Avoid high ticket items you really can not afford.  Don't give small gifts to co-workers and distant family, as the costs add up.  Why decorate outside?  What are you trying to say or prove?  Decline what you perceive as 'mandatory' attendance at Holiday parties - if you really don't want to be there.  Do you really need to send those cards?
  • Do something for othersA great Stress Management technique is to do something for the less fortunate.  'Giving' is what the Holiday should be about.  How about skipping that big expensive family dinner and volunteer to serve food at a homeless shelter.  Maybe, you could get permission and then go to a nursing home on Christmas Day just to sit and chat with older folks who have no family.  Maybe, you could budget an amount where you know of a deserving family and give them the cash.
Here is an introduction to my Christmas Poem I wrote many years ago and can be found in my book, Campfire Collection of Cowpoke Poetry. Soon it will be  posted on You Tube where you can see me performing it for a television show in Nashville, Tennessee.

Everyday is Christmas Out on the Range

A cowboy workin' a line camp job on a cold December day
Finished ridin' fences, spreadin' salt, and keepin' cows from goin' astray.

He melted ice on the cracklin' flame to make a pot of brew,
And sittin' on his haunches, pokin' the coals with a stick, he said, "Lord, this day's for You.

I don't have no turkey, the stuffin', and all the trim.
Just some beans and coffee. And some might think this meal slim.

I've got You all around me & with this here Good Book, that's all I need.
And my gift to ya, Lord is a few chapters I'd like to read."

So he read aloud of Mary, Wise Men, Shepherds and such,
And when he finished he gazed into the Heavens and said, "Thank you, Lord, oh so much.

For Everyday is Christmas here upon the range,
And some some hearin' me talk like this might think I'm plum strange....

I do hope each of you has a 'stress-less' Holiday.

David 'Buffalo Bill' Nelson


  1. Thanks for reminding us to take it easy David, looking forward to the YouTube video!

  2. Really good advice about stress, David. Why do so many of us seem unable to follow it?


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