Amy Smith, MS, LMHC

Amy Smith, MS, LMHC

Have you waited in a long line to purchase gifts, caught the same traffic light 3 times due to heavy traffic, been bumped into without an apology, or felt stressed while out in public this holiday season? Chances are you have answered yes to some, if not all, of these questions.As a counselor at Life Skills Resource Group Orlando and a holiday shopper myself, I have encountered these issues both in my office and at home.

The holidays are a time of hustle and bustle for many trying to fit in shopping, decorating, and parties, all while managing their regular daily schedules. It can be a time of overwhelming stress, short tempers, and even disappointment or depression. The good news is that you can manage your reaction to these occurrences as well as takes steps to reduce your stress level. Here are some ideas to help make your holiday shopping season a bit more enjoyable.

First, remember your thoughts are your own.If a long line is your idea of a miserable time then it will be miserable.Standing in long lines or waiting for a parking spot at the mall is inevitable at this time of year.A reaction of anger or frustration to these events won’t shorten the line or the number of cars in the parking lot.The only thing that you can control is how you react to these situations. When I approach waiting in a long line, I first take a deep breath and think of the person for whom I am purchasing the gift and focus on the positive aspects of why I am waiting in line. This often prepares me for the task at hand.I also view it as a time to check my shopping list, go through e-mails on my phone, and even listen to music.To reduce stress while driving and dealing with traffic jams, try listening to an audio book or a favorite CD while driving.Also, instead of getting frustrated that you can’t find a parking place close to the mall, just park further away and focus on the benefits of the exercise you’re getting by walking a little more.

Lastly, remember what’s really important at this time of year. Think about all the good things about the holidays and focus on the positive. If going to the mall creates negative feelings, remember how good it feels when your friends or loved ones open the gift that you purchased for them. If the stress of the holidays increases to a level that is unhealthy or negatively affects your relationships with others, please contact one of the Orlando counselors at Life Skills Resource Group. Please visit the OUR TEAM page and contact us for a FREE phone consultation. Amy

To read more about Amy Smith’s work at Life Skills Resource Group

Amy Smith

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