While the holiday theme is joy, love, and gift-giving, the stress that can accompany the hustle, bustle and pressure of putting it all together can overcome these feelings. Stress can build up over time or show up when internal needs and feelings are ignored. Multitasking to plan holiday gatherings, shopping or communications for the end of the year can make basic needs take back burner to getting everything done well or well enough. The potential for stress build-up during this time of year can make the difference between feeling stressed and blessed.

A good check-in acronym from 12 Step Programs for stress is HALT: "Am I Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired?" If the answer is "Yes" to any of these, it's important to take a pause to give yourself the gift of self-care.

The following list offers simple solutions from the Chinese Five Elements System

Hungry: Earth Element is about feeling at home and supported within yourself as you go through the day. When Earth Element becomes imbalanced, it is difficult to experience support in the world.

Suggestions 1) Get in touch with your own needs. 2) Ask for help when you need it. 3) Re-energize by eating root vegetables and keep organic foods in your holiday meals and snacks. 4) Wear orange or yellow to support your life energy. 5) Find a way to nurture yourself with a warm bath, a funny movie, massage, stretching, or dancing to nourish your life energy. 6) Sing your favorite songs of the season. 7) Place flowers in your environment.

Angry: Wood Element helps with organizing, planning and moving into action. When you feel blocked with this element, you are much more likely to feel frustrated and resentful, and it becomes difficult to see clearly in all situations.

Suggestions 1) Simplify lists of what you need to do. 2) Set loving and healthy boundaries on your lists and obligations. 3) Make time for your priorities on your calendar during the holidays. 4) Wear blue or green for calming energy. 5) Listen to calming music. 6) Take a walk next to the water or listen to music with water sounds in it. 7) Get clear on your options.

Lonely: Fire Element works with your connection to love, joy and groups. When this element is out of sync, you are much more likely to feel disconnected from love and heart connections.

Suggestions: 1) Ask yourself what brings you the most joy during the holidays. Take inventory o f activities, food, people, and blessings that have helped you over the years. 2) Make time to talk with someone you feel comfortable expressing your feelings and needs over the holidays if even for a few moments each time. 3) Take a walk with a two-legged or four-legged friend. As you walk, list things you see around you that are nourishing or beautiful. 4) Visit a shut-in or offer some volunteer time. 5) Make time daily to meditate to get in touch with your heart and breath.

Tired: Coherent Water Element connects you to the natural flow of life. When you feel stuck, frozen or exhausted, your life energy is depleted. This can happen when there has been a build-up of stress over time or you have overextended your life energy through overworking yourself.

Suggestions: 1) Take a moment to close your eyes. Listen for what your body is telling you. Allow the energy in your body to move in whatever direction it needs to move. You can do this with or without music. Your body knows what it needs to release and to move energy. 2) Schedule downtime during the holidays to regenerate your energy. 3) Create loving and healthy boundaries for yourself by being prepared before attending parties and gatherings with how much time and energy you spend before, during and after an event. 4) Express what you are feeling lovingly and then take care of yourself.

When imbalance and depletion happens between the Five Elements it is easy to lose the connection to your spirit (core essence of yourself). The connection to Metal Element is where you see the value of what you are doing and connect to the blessings of your spirit.

Suggestions: 1) Make a list of what inspires you during this season. Is it a church service? Is it a sacred meal? Is it seeing the lights? Is it a yearning for peace and spiritual values during this time? 2) What do feel you need to let go of at this time of year? Are there one or two things you could cross off your list to make it easier for you? 3) Are there any feelings of hurt, grief, or loss that need tending or need to move on to help you experience more joy, harmony and love? 4) Give yourself permission to cry, laugh and remember those you have loved over the years who have expanded your experience of love and loving. Express gratitude within and with another.

Author's Bio: 

Kimberly Rex, MS is a Certified Resonance Repatterning Practitioner who works with clients all over the world by phone, Skype, proxy and in-person to get to the root of limiting beliefs, attitudes, and patterns that keep you from experiencing your full potential at http://www.windowstotheheart.net