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1. Surround Yourself with Beauty — Surround yourself with the things that you love. Whether it is holiday music, white Christmas lights, or paper snowflakes. Decorate your surroundings in a way that makes you smile. Centering yourself among beautiful things will lift your mood throughout the season. Make sure to include your office, your car (or bike), and your living space.

2. Interact with Positive People — Everyone and their mother seems to be in town around the holiday season. That does not mean that you need to allow toxic people (or places) into your life.

Make this year the year that you break the tradition of exchanging gifts with your old college buddy, Nate the negative. Cut out the toxic people. Surround yourself with the people that put a smile on your face, encourage you, and lift your spirits. This can get tricky when it comes to family, but do what is right for you. No exceptions.

3. Use the Envelope System for Shopping — Before you hit the malls and the stores, make a budget. Determine how much money you are going to spend for each person and in each store. Then put the designated amount of money in an envelope before you head out. You will have enough money to get exactly what you need and only what you need. No cheating. Leave any extra cash and credit cards at home!

This is a guaranteed way to avoid the stress of overspending and impulse purchases.

4. Don’t Overeat — The holidays are filled with cookies, cakes, hams, mashed potatoes, wine, beer, chocolate, and candy canes… just to name a few. Don’t allow yourself to go completely overboard until the buttons of your pants are popping off.

Make conscious decisions about food. Limit yourself to two cookies or two glasses of wine instead of five. Use smaller plates. It has been proven that smaller plates lead to smaller portions. Eat a few small meals each day. Carry healthy snacks with you to avoid hunger pains and cravings — a bag of almonds, baby carrots, or a box of raisins will do the trick.

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5. Turn the Other Cheek — Even though the holidays are the “most wonderful time of the year” for many people they can also be the most stressful. The traffic gets congested. The shopping malls become hellish. The holiday bills pile up. A lot of people are on edge and tensions run high. It is a perfect storm for confrontation.

If you go into the season with an attitude of tranquility, peace, and forgiveness you stand a much better chance of avoiding conflict. If a confrontation is headed in your direction try to avoid it. If push comes to shove and you are drawn in against your will, turn the other cheek.

Whether it be road rage in a parking lot while fighting for a spot or a nasty comment from Uncle Bill at the dinner table, taking the high road is the best policy. Let the other person be the bad guy and absorb the negative karma that comes with being a jerk. Remember that you are way above that. Do not let anyone or anything move you from your path of happiness and light.

6. Turn Off the Negative Thoughts — If you work hard and follow all of these tips, you can experience your most joyful holiday season yet. However, there is one nasty habit that could ruin it all: negative thinking. Nip it in the bud before it even starts!

If you feel negative thoughts beginning to accumulate in your mind, stop. Take a deep breath. Remind yourself that you are in control.

Do not let your negative thoughts get the better of you. Change every negative, irrational thought into a positive, rational one. Focus on the beauty around you. Count your blessings each day and night. Live happiness, constantly make sure that what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

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Wishing you a warm & beautiful holiday season full of love, light, and hope.

Truly,

Dena

5 thoughts on “6 Tips for Stress-Free Holidays”

  1. Great post once again Dena! Although I always have a problem with the whole not over-eating thing I think this is the year I'll only take back a couple Shortbread cookies. I think that you nailed one of the most important tips with the "Interact with Positive people" Tip – If you let negativite people get in the way of your happiness you are just as guilty as they are for being a Scrooge. Get out, have fun and live it up – We only live once so make it worth it!

  2. @The Coolest Cool – Exactly! You've got such an awesome on life, I could not have put it better myself. I'm right there with you with he over-eating on the holidays. I really screwed myself up at Thanksgiving, I've vowed not to repeat that mistake at Christmas & New Years! Good luck with the cookies. ;o)

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