Five Tips for Happy and Stress-Free Holidays

When fall comes many of us start to think about the Holiday times coming up ahead for us with our families and friends. And we may think also of how it will all go this year!

The goal is to feel joy, love, and peace so you can enjoy your times together and savor meaningful moments with your family and friends.
We think about seeing everyone we have missed for a while, catching up with family members and friends and sharing stories and events that have occurred since the last time we were together or talked.

Sometimes those thoughts are accompanied though by feelings such as frustration or anxiety or even depressed thoughts. For some people, the holidays conjure up unpleasant associations, such as the first holiday without Grandma there, or unhappy family situations, or how uncle George will drink too much again this year.  Also some people tend to put pressure on themselves by wanting everything to be perfect and everything done a certain way.   I have always felt that setting to many expectations may not be the healthy thing we can do for ourselves or others.

Here are some simple ways to help make your holidays easier and even more joyful.

1. Be more organized and feel more peace.

Begin by writing a list of all you need to do. This can help a person feel less stressed by getting it on paper.   Make a list that has all the food listed for your main holiday dinner on it, the cooking times, shopping lists, invitations, lodging arrangements, getting your home ready for the holidays, gifts etc. You can also make categories for your list and that may make it easier too. Put anything and everything you can think of on your lists and you can add to it as you go too.  One thing to warn you about though is not to make making a list stressful or hard either.  Just write down what comes to your mind and think about how much easier it is to have it on paper and off your mind. Getting it on paper sure helps me reduce the stress. Have fun making your list(s). It is better to have long lists on paper than taking up all that space in your brain 🙂
Once you have your list then you can move it all to a calendar.  Be specific, give times for each task.  

2. Live in the Moment and control your thoughts to reduce anxiety and increase peace.

If you are focused in the past or future, you’ll more likely feel overwhelmed  or stressed. So keep your mind in the present. Keep your mind in the now! Create a saying to remind yourself of what you want to do. For example say and repeat “I am doing one thing at a time and living in the moment!”  When you do this, you will feel more peace and have more fun. 

3. Stay positive and accept people as they are.

Give up judgement! Stay out of judgmental ways. When you really accept people and situations the way they are life becomes so much easier to live. Say to yourself, when you go to a party, or people come to your home to celebrate the holidays that people can only change themselves, not others. No one can make anyone else change. Only ‘the’ person can change themselves should they decide to do that. So live in the moment, stay out of judgement and stay positive and look for the good around you. There is a lot of good around you, look for it, be thankful for it and stay positive!

4. Say ‘Thank You’ and give a hand to help.

Express gratitude where ever you are and to whom ever you are with! Share praise where you can. Give compliments and lots of smiles too. This goes a long way in building relationships and brings feelings of appreciation.  Ask “How can I help?” or “What can I do?” and then do it!  Do it with a big smile on your face and love in your heart!

5. Love is the reason we give gifts.

Gift giving isn’t about the money. Sure you can buy a gift that someone really wants, like for kids or a partner, but a gift as you know, does not always have to be purchased. You can show your love by asking yourself, What can I do that will show my love for this person? What will make them feel happy? Perhaps it’s setting aside time to just listen to your partner without interrupting (have a number of listening dates that you give your partner for example) or a hand-drawn card with a message, a personalized poem, or a list or short video with ten reasons you love this person. Love is the reason that we give and the reason that we celebrate the season too!




I hope that you like and use the 5 ideas and tips I share with you above. I ask all of us to make our plans but also release the outcome. Releasing the outcome of how it ‘has to be’ really frees us up from stress and disappointments too. It allows much more joy to flow to us. I have learned this sometimes the hard way through the years and it is so true!

So remember should you find yourself feeling frantic, annoyed, or even upset, remember the true meaning of the holidays. Get back to love, and say to yourself or even out-loud: “The Reason for the Season is Love!” and/or “I am about creating joy, love, and peace right now. So I am doing it NOW!”

Happy Thanksgiving to you.
May you and your family and friends be blessed with a joyful, peaceful, loving holiday. We are all so blessed and as we count our blessings, I count you among mine. Thank you for being in my life.

Until my next post I send you positive energy, peace and blessings always.