A Kinder, Stress-free Happy Holiday from Laurie Burton

The holiday season is upon us – family, friends, shopping, and far too many cookies! For many, a stress-free, happy holiday seems impossible. While you likely desire the warm, fuzzy feelings of nostalgia and happy times spent with those you love, creating these memories can be difficult when emotions are running at higher levels.

More Than Black Friday Stress

Unfortunately, not everyone has positive feelings about this time of year. And these negative emotions aren’t the result of any Black Friday madness created by retailers. Instead, the very real stress they experience is brought about by unexpected and unwanted events, such as:

  • The death of a loved one
  • A recent divorce
  • The loss of a job
  • Poor personal health

All of these situations can cause the holiday spirit to be shaken, even destroyed completely. Understanding this is important to how you respond to others, and how effectively you’re able to positively communicate with those around you this holiday season.

More Than Average Kindness

Pressures and demands are everywhere we look. And, especially during the holidays, it can be easy to lose the joy of the season by seeing only the work – or the difficult situation – before us. While you can’t eliminate all stress, you can manage it better by putting things into perspective.

What is really important to you?

What really matters when it’s all been said and done?

Self-awareness is powerful, and can be the best place to start when you desire to keep things peaceful and calm. So, start by being kind to yourself.

  • Don’t take on more than you know you can handle.
  • Don’t make yourself crazy by setting standards too high.
  • Don’t focus on what could go wrong, focus on what you’ve done well.

When you are at peace, others will be more relaxed around you. The calm you generate will set the tone for conversations and make the time spent with family and friends more memorable. When you allow yourself to be kinder to you, you’ll notice yourself able to offer more patience, kindness, and understanding to others, as well.

More Than Satisfying
Sometimes, you just need to find satisfaction in the little things. Be careful not to wear yourself out physically and emotionally over things that don’t really matter. During this holiday season, give yourself permission to:

  • Love generously.
  • Live joyously.
  • Laugh freely.
  • Take a break whenever you need one.

This holiday season, as the pressures and tensions pile up around you, give yourself the gift of living in the moment. Allow yourself the freedom to enjoy whatever that moment offers. Listen to the conversations of others. Tell others how much you appreciate them.

Make the choice – choose to take a deep breath, choose to be considerate, choose to be empathetic.

Everything won’t be perfect. That wouldn’t be reality. But everything will be more satisfying. And isn’t that really what being happy is all about?

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