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Embrace Holiday Stress
a blog by Julie Monacelli, November 29, 2013
As a client of CNY Fertility Center, I have read both of Dr. Robert Kiltz's books, The Fertile Secret: 10 Steps to Living Your Most Fertile Life and The Art of Living With Intent. I’m constantly in awe of the grace Dr. Kiltz steps through life with. He is a warm, generous man with an amazingly positive, holistic outlook on life. I turned to him for help when I decided to write an article on dealing with holiday stress, knowing I wouldn’t get the traditional answers everyone writes about. He did not disappoint.
Dr. Kiltz turned the question right around on me and asked “What’s wrong with holiday stress? Stress is good, without it you would not be human. It makes us feel alive and we should embrace it.” He suggested journaling about the stress in your life, and then reflecting on it, reframing it into something positive. I can relate to this. I work every holiday this year, and will not spend any of them at home with my family. If I reframe this in my mind, by working I allow another employee to spend time with their family and make holiday pay at the same time. My holiday isn’t ruined because I don’t observe the holiday on the date everyone else is observing it. I still have a holiday celebration, but it is uniquely mine. I can make the holiday what I want or need it to be. Just by writing this out, I feel better about my own situation.
Which brings me to another suggestion by Dr. Kiltz, “It’s our habit to talk about stress, the more you talk about it, the more you become it.” I can relate this to someone I know who was given only a short time to live with cancer. He could have easily given up, allowing his mind to agree with his doctors that his time was limited. Instead, he began talking about something positive every day, and often shared the smallest things on social media. A ray of sunshine coming in through a window with the shadow of leaves dancing in it, the way the wind felt on his chest as he rode his motorcycle or despite his incredible pain, the amazing doctors that believed in him and gave him another option to try. His blog about his disease is rarely about his health, but rather he writes about all of the things he is thankful for. He has outlived his estimated time left on earth tenfold, and he appears to have no current plans to change this.
Read something positive, every day. Dr. Kiltz says, “We are what we read” and challenges you to read a couple hours every day. When you think your life is too busy to read, consider how much time you spend watching TV, playing a video game or on social media clicking refresh. You can easily gather a couple hours right there.
When we consider that family is often perceived as our biggest holiday stress, we should reduce the situation to just a few words “Thank you for coming, I love you.” And mean it. Dr. Kiltz says “Everything is built within what you think it is. If you begin to give the things you don’t like your love you begin to feel good about them.” Divorce, custody arrangements, crazy-Aunt Fruitcake and even infertility all seem less stressful when you embrace the situation. Live within the stress, not on the outside looking in. Showing love to a particularly difficult person or situation not only takes the wind out of their sails, it helps you to reframe the situation in your mind.
A big thank you goes out to Dr. Kiltz for taking a moment to share with me some tips on how to deal with this holiday. I hope these ideas help you too. Happy Holidays!
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