5 Ways to Make the Holidays Happier

Less stress, more joy. That’s the goal this holiday season. Author Vikki Carrel shares strategies to help you enjoy the holidays.

The holiday season is magical but stressful. The shopping, cooking, social engagements and card writing can be overwhelming and create negative feelings. Then there is the guilt you feel if you can’t accomplish all the tasks on your “to do” list. The holiday season is a time to feel joy and not stressed.

Here are a few tips that will help you wrap-up the stress of the season and tuck it away, allowing you to enjoy the holiday cheer.

●Don’t be a perfectionist. If you set your sights too high when it comes to holiday wrapping, cooking and party giving, your expectations will not be attainable. This will cause you to feel overwhelmed. Have a plan that is realistic and do not set yourself up for failure by overscheduling your time and resources.

●Avoid your inner critic. Your inner critic tells you, that you are not good enough and must do it all. The holiday season is not about criticism that creates negative thought patterns. Be realistic about what you can and want to accomplish during the holiday season. The key is to identify what is important and keep it simple.

●Be aware of road blocks. During the holiday season there will be road blocks. Due to increased crowds, it takes longer to shop, mail packages and travel from place to place. Pace yourself and your daily schedule. If something does not get accomplished today then add it to tomorrow’s list. Start early with shopping and planning, this will help you avoid the last minute rush.

●Delegate, delegate, delegate. Remember you are one person and can’t do it all. Invite family members to join in the fun of holiday planning, cooking and wrapping.

●Manage your holiday expectations. Your expectations of the holiday season begin with personal interpretations. An interpretation is a judgment or opinion you create about an event, situation, and person or experience that you believe to be true. It is important that your expectations of the holiday season are in-line with your interpretation of the holiday season. Ask yourself, what is most important about the season and then move forward with a plan.

Choose to manage the holiday cheer in your life by letting go of unrealistic expectations. Identify what will bring joy to your holiday season and let the rest go. You always have a choice. Choose to embrace the season and limit negative roadblocks that prevent you from enjoying family traditions.

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