It’s ironic that the winter holidays, which are meant to be filled with relaxation, love and peace, often turn out to be a time of stress and tension.

We older women are usually pretty good at dealing with stress and adapting to shopping chaos. After all, as mothers, we got pretty used to standing in long lines, waiting for a shipment of some treasured Christmas toy to arrive. If holiday stress was only about shopping, we’d be laughing.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

There are many factors that contribute to stress around the holidays. Weather, travel delays, crowds, parties and alcohol make for a volatile combination. That’s not to mention the family gatherings that bring together people who are used to being apart. Amid all of the chaos, grandchildren have a tendency to get over-stimulated, creating an energy spiral that can shake even the strongest granny’s nerves.

There are also members of our community who suffer during the holidays for the opposite reason – loneliness. If you have lost your spouse or your family lives in far off places, the winter holidays can be a cold and silent time indeed.

So, regardless of its causes, what can we do to manage our stress around the holidays?

Many women I know meditate or spend a little extra time in prayer or at church. Others find peace by escaping from the crowds once in a while to watch movie classics like “Love actually.” Still others engage in quiet tasks, such as kitting, crafting, or simply snuggling up with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Please answer the following questions and don’t forget to “like” and share this article to keep the conversation going. Happy stress free holidays everyone!

What do you find to be the biggest causes of stress during the holidays? What do you do to stay peaceful and relaxed? Do you know anyone in your neighbourhood who is usually alone for the holidays? Is there anything that you could do to help them feel connected?

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