The Hum-Bug and Happy of the Holidays

Kvilda leden 2006Is it getting to you yet?  Do you feel the pressure and push of the holiday season?  And even though you’d like to be jolly and bright, you find yourself being a bit of a Scrooge?  No worries.  There are lots of people who feel this way on and off during the holiday season, and there IS hope!

Here are 9 Stress-Less Tips for the Holidays:

  1. Get Connected – The holidays are the perfect time to deepen the connection and understanding you have with others. When you’re at a gathering, whether it is large or small, make a point of having intimate conversations and truly getting to know the people you are with.  You’ll be surprised how open and fun they are when you show them that you are interested in them. You don’t have to be a great conversationalist; simply ask questions and see where it takes you.
  2. Cross Some Things Off Your List. – You know that humongous list you wrote of all the baking and decorating and visiting and shopping you wrote?  Well, most likely you’re not going to get it all done anyway, so why not strategically cross things off before you start. The holidays will be great without 22 different types of cookies. Really!  Be reasonable and be flexible as you think about the time everything takes and be sure to include things on your list that you enjoy the most.
  3. Pick a Theme for the Holidays – This year my theme is peace. Last year it was Fun.  Decide in advance the most important feeling that you would like to feel and plan everything around your theme. Be sure to tell your family, friends and co-workers about your theme and you’ll find that they’ll contribute positively to it!
  4. Set a Budget – Don’t get caught up in the whirlwind of the commercialism of the holidays and the massive sales events that have you spending way more money than is comfortable for you.  If you start with a specific dollar amount in mind, it will help to narrow down your choices as you plan menus, travels, decorating and gift-giving.
  5. Set Your Boundaries – The holidays are a time when we get together with our family members who we might not see very often, and each one of them has their own idea of what ‘should’ happen during the celebration.  Be sure to speak up and put in motion the things that are important to you. And remember that it’s okay to say ‘no’ when you mean no.
  6. Schedule ‘Me Time’ – I know, I know. You think there is no time for you and all the other things you want to do and get done.  The truth is that if you don’t schedule time for yourself, you’ll end up frazzled and on edge. And we all know what happens next.  So, be sure to plan time with friends or with a bubble bath. You and everyone you’re with will benefit from your down time.
  7. Gift Giving From the Heart – Having to ‘exchange’ gifts seems so cold.  Instead, think of gift giving as something you do in conjunction with the feelings in your heart.  As you buy gifts, think of the person you love and picture them enjoying the gift you gave them. How much money should you spend? Whatever feels good and comfortable for you.
  8. Reflect and Reminisce – The holidays are a great time to share memories and talk about the great times you have had.  Asking relatives about family members who have passed is a great way to understand traditions and will also bring a better understanding of the family members surrounding you now.
  9. GIVE THANKS! – Always express your gratitude for the people and events in your life. Be as vocal as possible and you’ll find that you start an epidemic, because gratitude is contagious just like happiness, love and joy. What do you have to be thankful for? Look around and be grateful for everyone and everything you see. That’s what the holidays are about after all!

Now that’s Powerful!

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