My Dad, psychologist and all around wise man, used to say, “Even good things are stressful.” I guess it is little wonder why having your family converge for holidays can produce stress.
- Stress over getting dinner to the table.
- Stress over living up to Mom or Grandma’s cooking expertise.
- Stress over limiting the overeating.
- Stress over what to talk about with your cousin’s newest boyfriend.
- Stress over getting your kids to behave.
- Stress over just finding enough chairs.
So often we get tied up in the logistics of the day and lose sight of what is really important – being with people we love.
Here are some tips for limiting your stress this Easter:
- Have a simple menu. Even though Grandma may have served a complete Greek feast, you don’t have to. Choose some special things you really enjoy. Or, ask family members to pitch in and bring a special dish.
- Plate the meal. Rather than passing everything family style, make up lovely plates with a bit of everything. This should help with the portion size.
- Don’t stay cooped up. Take a walk, go for a drive, or get out of the house as a group or in smaller groups (or even just yourself if you really need a break). A little fresh air and movement after dinner is a welcome change.
- Play a game. If making conversation is a challenge, fill the time comfortably with charades, cards, board games or even video games.
- Plan activities for the kids. New games, coloring books, craft projects or items like bubbles and jump ropes (for those of you not dealing with 30 degree weather!) can go a long way to entertaining the younger generation.
- Using the magic word: NO. You don’t have to please everyone. You don’t have to meet every request. You don’t need to run yourself ragged. No is a powerful word. Be pleasant, but be firm.
- Breathe: When you feel like it is just too much – breathe. In through the nose, out through the mouth. – more air out than in. Five good deep breaths can make a big difference in how you feel.
- Remember it isn’t about what is on the table, but who is around it.
Enjoy the people in your life and around your table.
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Eliz Greene is the Busy Woman’s Guide to a Health. Drawing on her experience surviving a massive heart attack while seven-months pregnant with twins, struggling to lose the 80 pounds gained during her pregnancy, and her background as an adaptive movement specialist, Eliz developed simple strategies and tips to help other busy women be more active, eat better and manage your stress.
As the Director of the Embrace Your Heart Wellness Initiative, Eliz travels the country energizing and inspiring audiences in keynotes and workshops on women’s heart health. She writes one of the top 100 health and wellness blogs. Find more at www.EmbraceYourHeart.com.
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