No StressThis time of year can be a time of joy and happiness, but it can also bring along with it a great deal of stress. Often there are a number opportunities to see family and friends, but it can grow overwhelming as you begin to feel spread too thin. Learning to say no to requests and invites can help maintain a balance; allow more freedom in how you spend your time; and reduce the holiday season anxiety.

If saying no to others is a difficult thing for you, you are not alone. Quite often people feel that they will miss out on something or worse yet disappoint someone. Compromising by then attending the party, luncheon or whatever the situation, even though you’d rather be spending time doing something else, can cause agitation, disappointment or frustration.

Instead of dealing with negative feelings and a sense of being stretched too thin, take the time to choose what you truly want to say yes to. When you receive an invite or request, how does it feel? Do you feel excited and open about the opportunity or do you sense resistance and a tightness in your physical body? Are you agreeing because you want to or because you feel obligated?

Staying true to yourself can be the difference between feeling relaxed and happy to experiencing stress and being overwhelmed.

So as you continue through your holiday season, as you are invited to a gathering take a moment to sit with it. How does it make you feel? If you enthusiastic about going, RSVP a big “Yep I’ll be there”, but if it doesn’t make you smile and feel excited, listen to the small voice in your head and graciously decline.

Learning to be true to what you need, whether it’s to be with friends and family or spending time on something for yourself, can be the greatest gift you receive this season.