Combating Holiday Stress with Love


The holidays can be a stressful time with distractions from shopping, traveling and eating. A good way of combating the holiday stress is by focusing on loved ones, and communicating how much they mean to you.

Saying “I love you” isn’t easy for everyone, but that’s okay. There are many ways to show your love both verbal and non-verbal. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller, “The Five Love Languages”, there are five different ways with which people prefer to give and receive love.

  1. Affirming Words

    This love language uses words as the primary tool to show how much you care, and it goes far beyond saying “I love you.” It extends to giving compliments (“That new hairstyle looks great on you.”), expressing gratitude (“Thanks for doing the grocery shopping when I was so busy.”), giving reassurance (“I’ll always be here for you.”), and acknowledging mistakes (“I’m so sorry for making you feel bad.”)

  1. Performing Acts of Service

    The love language of Acts of Service involves doing things for your loved ones as a way to articulate your feelings. These things can be simple errands like picking up the groceries on your way home from work or favors like cooking their favorite meal. Whatever you choose to do, the important thing is your actions should provide comfort to your loved ones.

  1. Giving Gifts

    The gifts don’t have to be expensive, and there doesn’t have to be an occasion. More often than not, the gifts are symbols of your love and a way of letting your loved ones know they’re on your mind. It can be a trinket that reminds you of an inside joke with them or a balloon in the shape of an animal they find cute. Even the littlest gifts matter.

  1. Spending Quality Time

    If this is your love language you’ll want to spend time with your loved ones to make them feel important in your life. It’s as simple as asking how their day went and actually listening to them talk. It can also be shared experiences, like traveling to a new destination. It doesn’t really matter what you and your loved ones do, as long as you’re in it together.

  1. Touching

    Show your loved ones affection through physical touch. Although this includes intimacy for romantic partners, it’s not solely just about that. Holding hands, leaning your head on their shoulder, kissing them on the forehead, engulfing them in a warm hug, giving them a foot massage – these are all ways to let your loved one know how much they mean to you.

  2. Love is a beautiful thing, and it’s made even more beautiful by the variety of love languages. So don’t worry if saying “I love you” upfront isn’t an easy thing to do for you. You can always find another way to show it, and your loved ones will know what you’ve been meaning to say.

Fine Tuning: Communicating with Others

Fine Tuning_ Communicating with Others
Effective communication is essential for every aspect of our lives – from work to family to daily encounters with others. People with strong communication skills are in demand for many jobs and often enjoy better interpersonal relationships with friends and family.

Whether communicating with others is one of your strengths or an area in which you need improvement, here are some strategies that will help you become better at it.

1. Stay in the moment

Most of us are guilty of sometimes thinking about our response before the other person has finished talking. Effectively communicating your thoughts means staying in the present moment. Don’t get distracted when speaking or listening.

2. Use simple words

Whether it’s your workplace or home, chances are that not everyone is on the same level when it comes to vocabulary. That’s why it’s important to use words that are easily understood by everyone. Using complicated or ambiguous words increases the chances of a misunderstanding.

3. Be a good listener

One of the most effective ways of being a skillful communicator is by developing strong listening skills. Few people enjoy communicating with someone who’s only interested in giving their opinion while not taking the time to listen to the other person.

4. Be clear and concise

A good practice is to communicate your message with just enough words and in a clear manner. That’s true whether you’re speaking to a large group, on the phone, or even via email. If you ramble on and aren’t clear, you risk losing the attention of your listener.

5. Be a strong non-verbal communicator

You can help get your message across in a variety of non-verbal ways – such as body language, eye contact, hand gestures, and tone of voice. It’s hard to over-emphasize the importance of eye contact in keeping the other person’s attention and clearly communicating your message.

6. Empathise

Empathy means seeing things from the other person’s point of view. It’s important not to be judgmental or biased by your pre-conceived beliefs or ideas if you want to be an effective communicator. It’s also important to remain patient and open-minded in your interactions with others.

7. Don’t rush it

Your message is easily lost if you’re in a rush and communicating too quickly. It’s easy to forget essential points and ideas when hurrying through any type of communication.

8. Go face-to-face when necessary

Your concept or message may not come across clearly if you’re speaking in front of a group of people, such as in a workplace environment. It’s easier for some people to understand you if you take them aside on a one-on-one basis.

9. Avoid repetition

No one likes to listen to someone who sounds like a broken record or makes the same point over and over again. Only repeat what you’ve said if it’s not clear to everyone or when someone asks you to repeat it.

10. Be trustworthy and honest

People respond better to people who come off as trustworthy and honest. In turn, they’ll be more willing to communicate with you.