The holiday season is a time for family gatherings, delicious food and festive parties with friends. It is a yearly occasion when love is in the air and the spirit of generosity and kindness surrounds us. For some of us however, the holidays can also be a time of high anxiety, worry, and depression. The season can conjure up memories of good times past, especially if we have lost loved ones. We also may strive to make sure that we pull off that perfect party or dinner. For some of us the holidays can get quite expensive, and whether your family is big or small, you can rest assured that you will be shelling out just a little more cash this month.

With all that being said, my wish would be that you experience all the joy and happiness this season has to offer. After all, the month of December is the perfect time for gratitude and reflection on the year that has passed. Here are five tips for remaining peaceful and stress-free this holiday season…

1. Take Care Of Yourself

I’m sure you’ve heard it over and over again, but how can you take care of other people if you are not taking care of yourself? The reason you’ve heard it time and time again is because it is true! Remember with all the activity of friends and family, it is vitally important to also nurture and honour yourself. That could mean going to get a massage, doing a yoga class, or just setting aside a few hours to do your own thing.

Give yourself time and space so that you can be grounded, centred and refreshed. You being happy ensures everyone around you is also happy.

2. Cut Out Procrastination

There is nothing quite like waiting until the last minute to get things done. This in and of itself can be one of the most stress inducing things you can do. Going shopping at the last moment is a recipe for anxiety. For one, you may not find what you are looking for but more importantly, who wants to be rushing around like a mad person. Plan Your Schedule. Make sure you have a couple days set aside before the holidays start so you can take your time and actually enjoy the experience of picking out gifts for those you love

Being prepared is one of the keys to a stress-less season.

3. Ask For Help

More often than not, many of us feel the need to act like Wonder Woman or Superman. These are ambitious aspirations; however all too often leave us feeling tense and anxious. You don’t have to do everything by yourself. If you need help planning a party or need an extra hand – ask a friend. If you have a hundred other things going on and need someone to pick up some gifts for you, ask someone you trust for help. In general, people love helping each other. It gives us a sense of purpose and makes us feel useful.

The holiday season is all about giving, so give someone the gift of being able to contribute to you.

4. Set a Budget and Stick to It

This is definitely one I have struggled with in the past. I love my family and friends so much and always want to let them know. However, the size or price of the gift you give does not equate to the amount of love you have for someone. Spend what you can afford and do not go for broke. If you cannot afford gifts there is always the good old fashioned homemade gift. Nothing says love more than a song, poem, or decorated photo frame for your loved one. Creating an artistic gift is one easy way to save money. It is also extremely thoughtful. If you have more of a budget to work with, be sure to stay within it to the best of your ability. No one wants to still be paying for this year’s gifts next year.

Remember this season is truly about giving your time, energy and attention to people you love and even people you may not love, which is priceless!

5. Don’t Expect Perfection

As I was saying before, some of us have a tendency to overdo it. We want to impress, amaze and astonish our friends and family with just how perfect we can get everything. Expecting perfection will always set you up for feeling let down. Nothing ever turns out perfect and it is time we start accepting that. Use this season to have compassion for yourself. Many of us can be very hard on ourselves and listen to the negative conversations in our heads. Do the best you can and know that it is enough. Always keep in mind what the season is truly about. It is not about cooking the perfect ham, or making sure that the holiday decorations are impeccable. It is not about making sure that your gift outdoes your sister’s gift and so on. The holiday season is and should be a time to rest, reflect and be yourself. Some of us have had a year filled with long work days, children to take care of, and a variety of setbacks and successes.

Now is your time to sit back, reflect on your year, give thanks for all that you have in your life and start creating what amazing things you are going to manifest in 2020.

Wishing you a healthy, joyous, and prosperous holiday season!!

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