Create a Happier Holiday!

The holidays are here.  It’s time to enjoy family and friends and be joyful. However, for many people the holidays create extra stress and chaos that ruins the season for them.   Believe it or not, you have more control than you might think when it comes to creating a happy holiday season. With a little planning, you can eliminate much of the stress that can put a damper on the joy and love you share with friends and loved ones.

Take action and plan. Christmas is just week away and if you haven’t already done so, we highly recommend creating a plan for the upcoming days ahead so you can truly enjoy the weekend and holiday. Create a schedule, manage gift lists, check them twice, organize family get-togethers, and delegate some of your tasks such as food—you’ll start feeling better immediately if you take action today.

Get into the spirit. One way to create a happier holiday season is do things that make you feel connected to friends and loved ones and to the spirit of the season itself. Participate in family and religious traditions. Attend holiday celebrations. Get out to see the best holiday lights in your community. Spend time baking with kids and grandparents. We may not have a white Christmas in sunny San Diego, but our beaches are ideal for making sand angels!

Set realistic family gathering expectations based on past experiences. If previous family gatherings have been stressful, keep that in mind. Take the necessary steps to avoid or minimize personality conflicts and disagreements. Think about topics of conversation ahead of time. Talk about memories and reminisce about the good old days. Break out game when the conversation begins to heat up. By all means, try to avoid engaging in political debates during holiday gatherings. It’s a sure way to ruin the festive holiday mood you’ve tried to create!  Relax and enjoy the time with your loved ones.

Just a little forethought can create a happier holiday season.  We hope these three recommendations are useful to you over the next few weeks.  On behalf of everyone at SAGE Therapy Center, we wish you and yours a happy, healthy holiday season and rewarding New Year!

Alison Stratefamily