6 Simple Suggestions for Happier Holidays

The holidays can be emotionally stressful as time, budgets, and patience are stretched to their limits. However, with some planning, perspective, and an increased consciousness about the true spirit of the season, we can create an abundance of happy moments and memories that will give Hallmark a run for its money!

Be Realistic

Going into the holidays with an accurate perspective on what’s in store for you will decrease your frustration and stress. Make a list of your goals: sensible gift giving, holiday cooking and baking, house cleaning, party planning, etc. Tackling your holiday chores one by one will make you feel less overwhelmed and certainly make seasonal preparations more enjoyable. Knowing your financial, physical and scheduling limitations will allow you to set realistic goals that will make you feel satisfied when you complete them (rather than overworked and overemotional as you try to live up to your unrealistic agenda).

Take Time to Detox

Everyone needs a little down time to rejuvenate, and with the holidays draining you quicker with all those seasonal expectations, it’s important to take a little time for yourself. Even with a hectic schedule, you will need to pencil in your refueling time. Whether it’s curling up with a book and a cup of hot cocoa, getting a massage, or meditating and practicing yoga, setting your mind and spirit to rights again will release those building tensions and allow you to accomplish more because you have recharged your emotional batteries.

Keep Within a Budget

Shopping for others can be a rewarding pastime, but those feelings of goodness through gift-giving can easily turn into stress and worry as you deplete your bank account (or worse, rack up credit card charges). By creating a financial budget for yourself, you then have the freedom to make purchases for each person within that specified amount, without the fear of overspending.

Put Differences Aside

Family time offers you the opportunity to be with your loved ones, the people in your life that have known and loved you the longest. It can be a time of catching up, and offers most people a sense of belonging. The less shiny side of that coin can be personality differences that can tarnish your holiday happiness with misunderstandings and arguments. Keeping things in perspective this year, and accepting one another’s differences even if you disagree, will allow you to connect and enjoy the moment: a special time of year with the family you love.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

With the time crunch of the approaching holidays, it is easy to let healthy habits fall to the wayside. Perhaps, then, this is the most important time to keep those routines in place as best you can. Continuing with your exercise regime, and eating at least one healthy meal a day will keep you more balanced, physically and emotionally. It is well known that exercise keeps the endorphins high in your body and gives a natural sense of well-being. Eating right supplies you with the energy you need to accomplish all your tasks and keeps chemical levels (such as serotonin) in balance. This is not to say that you cannot enjoy your holiday sweets and treats! Just keep in mind that most seasonal food tends to be high in fat and sugar, which ultimately cause lethargic and potentially depressive feelings with their energy inhibitors and sugar crashes. So, go ahead, eat those yummy holiday delights— just make sure you balance your diet with nutritious foods that your body needs.

Focus on Holiday Cheer

While the stress of shopping and cooking for others can wear on you, keeping in mind that you are doing these things for others is a great way to stay in high holiday spirits. The holidays are a time for appreciating family and friends, and for thinking of and giving to others. When your goal is to put a smile on someone’s face, that is time well spent indeed. Holiday volunteering at places like children’s hospitals, low-income family centers, and nursing homes, can be another way to keep your head and heart in lively spirits. Giving to others in times of need reaps wonderful spiritual benefits and gives you the perspective to appreciate what you do have. The “demands” don’t seem as great when you acknowledge how fortunate you are to have so many special people in your life to spend your money, time and energy on.

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5 thoughts on “6 Simple Suggestions for Happier Holidays

  1. Zofeya ext. 5351Zofeya ext. 5351

    Great article and so true! I have really stressed to my children that they Holidays are about family and spirituality, not “things”.

    The old adage, it is better to give than to receive, still holds true, not just during the Holidays but all year long.

    Wishing you Happy Holidays!

    🙂 Blessings,
    Zofeya

    Reply
  2. misskrystalmisskrystal

    Alina, thanks again for all the wonderful works you contribute here on our blog…They are spectacular.
    Great points about the holidays…I also want to remind everyone, PLEASE don’t compare yourself to others-
    ie-what others are doing, “Big parties, big trips, big presents” STOP!

    One of the worst things in this country is the old cliche’, “Keeping up with the Jones family”
    worst thing one could ever do to their total being….Unfortunately, we live in a country where this is something that many do. I get many callers crying to me about the big party bash the neighbors are having or, the big bow on the neighbors new Lexus for their daughter, the big ski trip to Aspen, the xmas in Hawaii, the diamond tennis bracelet their best friend got from her hubby and the snow birds going to their boca raton beach house for new years” PLEASE don’t do this to yourself…Talk about misery…Don’t fall into the spirit of darkness and shadows.

    Start out this turkey day for taking inventory on all the things you are grateful for…Be happy for your friends, coworkers, and neighbors for the blessings they receive….Don’t compare your life to others during this time…I promise you, it will be beter….

    Thanks again, Alina, for a wonderful article, as usual. Remember all, once we feel better about giving, Vs. receiving, give yourself five golden karmic stars! If you can’t give gifts, give assitance or, help a friend or, someone in need-…Have you been putting off getting a pet and you are still down in the dumps needing more out of life? Go to that local shelter and bring a new best friend home! Make a difference in your life and give an animal in need a loving home…..
    Happy Holidays,
    Miss Krystal

    Reply
  3. Gina Rose ext.9500Gina Rose ext.9500

    Hi,
    Nice article, Alina, as usual……your articles are helpful and timely.

    But please remember……holiday ” demands ” are self imposed………….the holidays are not about spending $$$$, that you may not have,in an effort to please others…….or running yourself ragged.

    I especially like the last paragraph…..now is the time of year to help others less fortunate.

    My daughter and her hubby volunteer at a soup kitchen for the homeless every year…….I volunteer at the local animal shelter all year long, but especially at this time of year. I also donate $$$ at the local supermarket deli to give fully cooked and prepared holiday dinners to those families with children in need at Thanksgiving and Yule.
    THAT makes me happy and content, and I’m to the point where I look forward to playing ” Santa ” every year…….and that is all I require to fullfill my holiday wishes.

    Blessed Be )O(
    Gina Rose ext.9500

    Reply
  4. velvetoversteel

    Alina, this is all Great advie. I feel, and from personal expiences… too many to even remember, that ‘Putting Differences Aside’ may well be the hardest, it is however the Most Important! Espically when children are involved.

    Most of us know that we ‘shouldn’t argue in front of children, however when ‘family’ get together and tensions mount, it can be hard for even the ‘calmist’ of personalities. I wish those who like to ‘push buttons’ with family members would remember and think of the ‘memories’ they are instilling in the children who witness those tentions and arguements. I have far too many childhood memories of my ‘family’ members ‘not’ getting along than I do of ‘happy’ holiday gatherings. That is not only sad but damaging to some.

    My main goal for Christmas and holidays when my children were younger esp., was peace, calm, Fun and Laughter! No amount of presents can replace that!

    Blessing, Fun and Happiness this holiday season!
    Hugs,
    Coreen & VOS

    Reply

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