By Lisa Caplan

Holiday time can be very challenging. There are lots of different demands from family, friends and work that can pull us  in different directions.  

Here are some tips to help you lower your stress during the holidays:

  • Keep your regular routine as much as possible. This will help you feel more grounded.
  • Put the “fun” in dysfunctional. Embrace the crazy holiday energy and busyness.  Holidays are a time to connect with others. Make sure you are  staying busy with the people and things you enjoy. 
  • Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries. It’s ok to say, “No” to holiday events.  
  • Ask for help. Holidays are a time when we attempt to take on too much. It’s okay to ask for help from family and friends. Whether for decorating,  shopping, cooking, or a shoulder to lean on.
  • Don’t be alone if you don’t want to be. Try volunteering and accept invitations.
  • Spend less. Have a budget and stick to it.  Think moderation when it comes to gifts, food, alcohol, and time spent with family and friends.
  • Enjoy what is going on at the moment. Focus on today, not yesterday and not tomorrow.
  • Appreciate what is good in your life.
  • Be realistic and try not to expect the perfect holiday. Try not to put unreasonable pressure on yourself to be happy, to rejoice, or even to enjoy the holidays.
  • Don’t use holidays as a time or place to repair old wounds or expect people to change.
  • Don’t obsess about your  diet – make choices with intent. 
  • Try something new like a new recipe, start a new tradition, or learn something new like ice skating. 
  • Be good to yourself.  If you’re feeling blue, pamper yourself. Do what feels good, and what you want to do.  Remember, this is your holiday too.

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