Silent Night, Stress-less Night: 10 Tips to a Meaningful Holiday Season
By Lisa Ransford, MA, LPC, CACII

As we approach the holidays, the economic crisis takes on a new meaning for many people.  What used to be fun and exciting may now be marred by a fear of wondering what the New Year will bring in regards to financial security.  This may be a good time to renegotiate the Holiday Season as a way of decreasing the financial and emotional burden that comes with stress.   While there are ways to manage our daily stress, I submit these tips for your consideration during the holiday season.

10. Plan a family meeting to determine what traditions are important to each member of the family.  Incorporate components of every individual’s desires while focusing on meaning, not material exchange

9. Establish a budget and stick to it.   If gift giving has always been a part of your tradition and your budget is strapped, find creative ways to stay within your budget.

8. Breathe. Learn to meditate and practice daily, especially during the holidays.

7. This is the time of year when holiday parties are the norm. Every weekend is spent celebrating – eating, drinking and being MERRY. This makes it even more important to follow your diet and exercise routine as closely as possible. Be especially gentle on yourself when this is not possible.

6. Limit your intake of alcohol. If you find that you tend to overdo it regularly or it is especially difficult to manage, seek counseling to find ways that will be immediately helpful and will aid in managing future stress.

5. Laugh loud and often. Find the humor in simple things. Go to a funny movie or just laugh among friends.

4. Breathe, again.

3. Make an intentional effort to be flexible. When things just aren’t going as planned, remember that it’s the memories, not the outcome that you will remember.

2. As always, find the time to incorporate good self-care into your routine.

1. Continue to breathe.