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Enjoy More and Stress Less Over the Holidays

The holiday season has officially begun and I am already hearing from clients, friends and family that they are feeling the busy-ness that can cause overwhelm and stress this month. Creating intentions and setting boundaries will be helpful in enjoying meaningful connections, moments of joy and possibly relaxing too. 

Here are 5 foundational practices to enjoy more and stress less:

1. Prioritize, focus, and create ease where and when you can. 

Decide what is most important, healthy, and fun for you and your family. Ask those you will be celebrating and connecting with too. Make a priority list of fun activities and traditions and put this where everyone can see it as a reminder.

2. Update your expectations and old beliefs about how the holidays are “supposed” to be and what you “should” or “need” to do. 

Take an inventory of all that you are handling and making happen right now. Think “Brain Dump List.”  Check-in. Do your previous holiday expectations fit with your life now? If yes, great. If not, you have choices. This is an opportunity to reassess and update holiday traditions.

3. Give yourself permission to be OK with doing things differently. 

These past years have brought many unexpected changes. Open yourself up to choosing new experiences and ways to celebrate.  You may be ready to socialize and attend gatherings again. Or you may feel that it is time to slow things down and relax, order your meal from a local restaurant and play games. 

4. Replenish and recharge your batteries. 

Now is not the time to deplete yourself and sacrifice your health which many of us are tempted to do. Schedule time for nourishing self-care this week and for the weeks that follow. Take breaks, schedule naps, soak in baths, honor a restorative sleep schedule, and do not skip meals! 

5. Allow yourself to feel the variety of emotions that inevitably bubble up during the holidays – positive and negative. 

You may feel irritated, frustrated, grateful, sad, or angry (or all of these). Express the emotion, vent, find a way to move the energy through you as opposed to letting it sit in your body as replay stories in your mind that ultimately result in you feeling stuck. One of my favorite solutions is to move or exercise. You can do this on your own or with those you care about- get outside, go for a walk, do yoga, run, play video games that require you to move, dance, punch pillows, figure out what works best for you when you want to let go of emotions that do not feel good and are holding you back from being present and enjoying yourself. 

I originally created the Holiday Thrive Guide for my clients several years ago. They found the strategies so useful that I wanted to share this updated version with you in order to support you in enjoying a happier and healthier holiday season.

I also want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude for each of you in this community. 

I hope you have a nourishing and holiday season. As always, reach out to connect if you have questions or want to chat further.

2 Responses

  1. Great suggestions and reminders, Melissa! In the “fog of the holiday season,” it’s great to have simple tips to help us move through this time with care and awareness.

    1. Hi Kathy, Exactly! The holidays can cause overwhelm that results in rushing or feeling stuck in a fog – not fun. Setting intentions can pave the way for more enjoyment and a sense of “groundedness” and peace. Thank you for your comment and feedback. Wishing you joy, clarity and compassion this month, Melissa

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