Holiday Season: Happy or Stressful? – Tips to make the best of the holidays

 Unfortunately, for many of us the holiday season can be a time of tremendous anxiety, loneliness and heartache. If this is the case, try to plan ahead to minimize triggers and make it a priority to take extra care of your needs during this time. This might mean skipping or limiting your interactions with some people. Get clear about your true intentions in communicating with others. In order to avoid arguments, it is best to stick to topics of conversation that everyone can agree on. Ask yourself, “Would I rather be right or remain in relationship? You can’t have both!”  During the holidays, families often choose to get along and avoid arguments.

If you tend to struggle with overindulging in food, alcohol etc. please plan ahead. Hoping that things will be different this time around, is not planning. Mentally rehearsing solutions to situations that may arise and having a plan of action written down and available will help you feel more in control and increase your chances of success. The holidays can bring up a mixed bag of emotions, so having emotional support readily available, whether it be a friend, a sponsor or coach will also be of great benefit. 


If you tend to feel lonely or sad during the holidays, consider going on a retreat that supports your well-being and forgo the traditional celebrations. Omega institute, Rhinebeck, New York State and Kripalu Center in New Hampshire offer such retreats.


Cultivating a mindset of appreciation and gratitude can be beneficial not only during the holidays but at all times. Studies have shown that by focusing on 5 things you are grateful for prior to sleep assists people feel better rested and more positive in the morning. If you can focus your attention on the gifts already in your life, no matter how small, the holidays will likely be far more enjoyable and fulfilling. Take a moment now to think of what you are grateful for?


We all can benefit from pacing ourselves, rather than over extending and over scheduling ourselves. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat healthily and take time to exercise. These actions are those of self-care and self-love not selfishness. The more we tend to our own well-being, the more we have to share with others. And we then do it from a place of genuine heart felt compassion rather than obligation.

I want to thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope you find it beneficial. If you find yourself struggling, please feel free to contact me. Wishing you good health, peace and compassion during the holiday season.

– Isobel