How to Avoid Holiday Stress

You probably would like to have the perfect holiday, like on seen on TV. All you need is a production staff of 30 to 40 people behind the scenes. If you had to lay off your staff this year, maybe you'd like to consider a less stressful holiday season.

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Or maybe you like the rush you get from climbing Mt. Stress. If you do, here's your check list of how to get stressed out this year:

  • Put everyone else first
  • Go into debt to make others happy
  • Skips meals
  • Get by on 4 to 6 hours of sleep
  • Stop exercising
  • Spend every waking moment indoors or in a car
  • Have a drink to take the edge off

If you'd like a less stressful, more person-centered holiday read on.

Let Speed Work for You

You live in a world of increasing speed. So instead of resisting speed, let it work for you. First notice how you manage speed.

Tricyclist: Imagine a toddler pedaling furiously, racing up and down the sidewalk. She's using lots of effort and going nowhere, but doing it fast. She's by herself and she has no plan.

Racehorse Rider: Imagine a dazzling thoroughbred. She breaks out of the starting gate, races around the track, crosses the finish line sweaty and huffing. She's in a pack but all alone. She has only one goal: win the race and receive applause. Racehorses are hard to control and do one thing well—run. That's the plan.

BMW Driver: She sits calmly behind the wheel whether going 5 mph or 100 mph. She may be alone or with family and friends. She might be listening to music, talking on her headset, but she's calm, present and focused whatever speed she's going. She knows where she's going and she knows what's important. She has a plan.

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Purpose and the Use of Time

Every one, including you, has these three speeds. What separates you is purpose and how you use time.

The BMW Driver organizes her time by what she values. She has the key to letting speed work for her.

What do you value more than anything? Are you driven by what other people think of you? Then jump on your racehorse now. The applause is waiting. Except it when it's not there. Perhaps you value peace of mind. Why? Because it allows you to be more loving, more present for friends and family. It opens the door to creative thinking. It helps you plan instead of react.

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Case Study

Nicole had some health problems that set her back for a few years. She felt guilty that she couldn't be the kind of mother and wife her family needed. As she recovered, she was tempted to be super mom, mount her racehorse and try to win the holiday race. Instead, she shares how she accesses her BMW Driver.

She found her number one value: a feeling of connection she hoped would be a fond holiday memory, rather than expensive gifts of the past. She realized all the things could be discarded, but love and laughter would last in her family's hearts forever.

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