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Ahhhh….the holiday season.  Let’s see…there’s holiday parties, gifts to purchase and wrap, kids to calm down, memories to make–not to mention all those holiday recipes to make too!  Oh, and there’s holiday cards to purchase, address, and send, and…oh boy!  Is your stress level rising as you read this?  Are you going over a mental check list in your mind of what you haven’t accomplished or berating yourself for not completing something or not doing something perfectly?

RELAX!  Here are 7 ways to set yourself up for joy this holiday season no matter what is on your to-do list:

  1. Practice gratitude.  Be thankful of friends and family members.  Be thankful for your health and the health of those around you.  Be thankful for the gift of life.  Look to the positive–for all of the abundance that surrounds you.
  2. Take care of yourself.  Remember to practice self-care.  Each day do something nurturing for your soul–take a bubble bath, meditate, breathe deeply, listen to beautiful and uplifting music, look at inspirational photos or artwork…what lights you up and soothes your soul?  Do it!
  3. Connect and be present with those you love.  When you’re at a party, or at home, at a friend’s or wherever–remind yourself to be in the moment and not going over what remains to be done or how you don’t want to be there.  Show up with a good attitude, good spirits, and being present to those around you.
  4. If you’re feeling annoyed with your loved ones, take a moment to look at them (or envision them in your mind) and silently say “I love you.”  Connect with your heart as you think this and call up the wonderful feelings you have for them.
  5. Remind yourself that even though you may feel stressed, everything always gets done.  It doesn’t have to be “perfect” (there’s no such thing as perfection).  Focus on the things that mean the most to you and accomplish those.  The cards you have to get out–what’s the worst that could happen if they are a little late?
  6. Remind yourself you are creating lasting memories.  No one likes to reflect back on how Mom or Dad was a basket case.  Holidays are a time for love, connection, harmony, joy, great memories–anything you make it!  Make is pleasant and positive.  Show up with a great attitude and great effort.  If you’re exhausted, same thing goes for you too!
  7. Enlist some help.  It’s okay to ask for help.  Or, volunteer to help someone else who needs it (like a frazzled mother!).