Welcome to Heart of the Matter Radio/Podcast. This week we have author and counselor Tina Yeager give us tips on Mastering Holiday stress.

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Cynthia:

The Christmas season is here again. And so many of us get so stressed at Christmas because we’re going to celebrate and we’re going to celebrate hard.  We make all these plans, and we suddenly realize that we really can’t do it all. And we get kind of irritable and stressed. And it becomes a difficult season for moms because usually moms are the ones that do so much of the work. So today I have with me Tina Yeager, and she’s a fantastic teacher and counselor, and she’s going to kind of give us some tips on having a peaceful Christmas for us while we try to do stuff for other people. So welcome, Tina,

Tina:

Cynthia, it’s always a joy to spend time with you and to share with your viewers and listeners.

Cynthia:

Yes. Give us some tips on how we can make Christmas peaceful.

Tina:

Well, we need to make sure that we’re focusing on the right things at Christmas, the meaning instead of the materialism that’s around us. Make sure that you’re putting people and faith as your top priorities this Christmas instead of all the pressure stuff. Things that seem to be important because everybody’s doing them and everybody’s pushing them from commercialism. Instead of making that your priority, make sure that every day begins with Jesus. How can I honor you today as the meaning of my Christmas season?

Cynthia:

Do you ever have overlapping parties? What do you do about that?

Tina:

Well, it’s okay to say no and to decline gracefully. And I think it’s important to say no and decline gracefully. You need to set ahead of time a schedule of what your capacity is and everyone’s capacity is different. Your health is something you need to consider your energy levels and your fatigue levels. Also think about your temperament. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How many kids you’re bringing and getting babysitting for, all of that is going to play into your capacity.  Mark out what you can do.

And then once those slots get filled, you have to say no. I’m sorry I’m overbooked for the holiday season, but I appreciate you. Sending them a thank you card for inviting. Let them know how much they mean to you is a great way to let them know gracefully.

 

Cynthia:

I feel like a party pooper when I do that sometimes.

Tina:

But if you do it well and you help that person feel loved with just a little extra handwritten note. Let them know how much you appreciate that, and that you want to still be invited the next time. That can help get rid of that feeling.

Cynthia:

Or maybe invite them to do something with you after the New Year starts.

Tina:

That might be another way. If you tell them instead, “I’m going to do a friends I love get-together on Valentine’s Day week and then maybe we can catch up then.”

Cynthia:

I like that because I’m already starting to feel that pressure even now and it’s early in the month. I mean, it is fun, but you only do so much without getting overwhelmed. What other tips do you have?

Tina:

Well, I think planning is helpful, and scheduling time to make that time to plan is important. I think that setting that and making sure you have room for margin.

Margin needs to be big enough to accommodate self-care and peace, your faith journey, and making sure that you have scheduled time for unexpected things. Those things happen whether you’ve scheduled time for them or not. If you don’t plan enough margin to cover that, then you’ll be behind the gun underneath and overwhelmed and too many things that you already had planned to do, and now you can’t catch up on them. And all those things happen.

So, emergencies and last-minute things will come up.

Make sure you have room in your schedule for those.

Cynthia:

And it seems like a lot of times when we get asked to a party, we’re asked to also bring a gift. I could do without the gift because I’d rather just be with the people. Is there any way to squirm out of that gracefully?

Tina:

Depends on the party, and it depends on the party host. You can ask, are your guests bringing you a gift? At this party? It’s okay to ask that question. And instead of bringing a gift that costs you money, you could bring something to all your parties that you make ahead of time in a batch, for example, I like to make for people that are work friends or neighbors or people that aren’t family members, but you need to give them a little something. I like to make Russian spice tea, and you could make a big batch of that and put it in little jars. And these can be upcycled jars that you had for jellies or jams. And you just put like a little sticker on the top and say, here’s how many tablespoons of this Russian spice tea mix there are, and put a little bow on it. Then you’re done with all of those hostess gifts that you have to bring.

Cynthia:

That’s a good idea. Something that you make is going to be more personable anyway and it’s less expensive.

Tina:

I mean, if you want to make a batch of cookies and put them in a cute little dollar store box, you can do that too.

Cynthia:

What other ideas do you have for reducing stress?

Tina:

Make sure that you are making personal gifts as well, instead of having to purchase all your gifts. Some of the most meaningful gifts are the ones that you make yourself. And it doesn’t always have to take hours and hours. If you’re not somebody who can knit a whole sweater, then maybe that’s not the kind of personal gift you want to do.

Last year I made Christmas ornaments for each of my family members, and it was part of their gift. It wasn’t their only gift, but each ornament was made in a shape. I bought them at Michael’s and these little wooden shapes, and I put words that I decoupaged that described that person’s best traits all over that outside of the ornament.

So, it was very personal and something they could keep forever.

Cynthia:

That is nice. What I’ve been doing this past year is knitting my washcloths for the kitchen so that I have a rag that I’ve done myself that I can wipe down the table with and stuff. And that might be a nice gift to give somebody.

Tina:

Yes, you could do that. You could create a little scripture verse and put it with it and wrap it nicely with a pretty ribbon. Ribbon can make anything look like it’s more elegant, even if it’s inexpensive. And you can get ribbons at the dollar store.

Cynthia:

Great. So, do we tend to cut back on sleep in the holidays? Because I know parties go late. That’s one thing that causes me a lot of stress.

Tina:

When we don’t sleep, we get less productive. It seems like that lack of sleep is making us get more done. But you’re working slower. You’re not being as efficient, so you get less done when you don’t sleep. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you can cut back on sleep. The other thing that happens when you don’t sleep is that you get sick and this is cold and flu season, so you don’t want to be sleep-deprived going into all these holiday gatherings either. You will be able to do more, see more people, and be a bigger blessing if you get the rest that you need.

Cynthia:

And so, for those of us who are tempted to stay up when there’s a party that we do go to, say goodbye early while you’re still wide awake.

Tina:

Yes, that’s a good idea. Or just tell them ahead of time, I need to go home and get some rest. I got an early day tomorrow, but I wanted to see you. So, I will bow out at 09:00 p.m. And I love you guys, but I want to make sure I am healthy enough to love everybody else, too.

Cynthia:

And see you left a good taste in their mouth when you said it that way.

Tina:

Exactly. People who love you will be understanding of what your needs are, not just theirs.

Cynthia:

Yeah, that’s good. But you also have a class about this, right?

Tina:

I do. I have a course called Your Stress-Less and Joy-Blessed Holiday Season. And just for your listeners right now, I have a bonus coupon, a couple of bonus coupons.

One is all caps, FRIDAY23 for 2023. So, Friday 23 and you can get 25% off of the retail price of that class. So that brings it down from $49 to 36.75. And then five people, whoever the first five people are that sign up with another coupon could get even less, can get even more off for their course. They can put in the coupon code actnow if there are any of those left.

Tina:

And they will get that course instead for $27. But that’s only for five people. So whoever the first five are that sign up for that will get that coupon.

Cynthia:

Tell me more about what they get.

Tina:

I’ve got planners for meals. I’ve got travel planners. I’ve got all kinds of comprehensive information in there.

Cynthia:

Travel planners. Wow, that sounds great. So that’s worth it if you’re thinking about what your month is going to look like.

Tina:

Yeah. What is your health worth? Right. Your health and your well-being and your mindset. What’s that worth to you?

Cynthia: What is the link to your class?

Tina:

Click here

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