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Maybe “stress-free” is a lofty goal for the holiday season, but when the decorating and party planning and entertaining and unwanted guests and cooking and baking and shopping and wrapping and whiny children and, and…

Sigh.

When the holiday season becomes more stressful than enjoyable, it’s time to stop, breathe, and simply slow yourself down. Here are some counseling ideas to help you keep calm and get your holiday on!

1. Back to basics. Remember what the holidays are all about. Whether your holiday traditions are rooted in religion or not, we can all agree that the spirit of the season comes downs to spending quality time with friends and family. Bringing love and joy to others. If we’re too busy hand-bedazzling ornaments for your picture-perfect tree to sit and sip eggnog with your loved ones, well, we might be missing the mark.

2. Self-care is key. Nurture yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. Try—and we know it’s hard—to maintain a nutritious diet and regular exercise regimen. Take time out to treat yourself to an afternoon at the spa. If you’re mourning the loss of a loved one, or recovering from a painful breakup, express your feelings and surround yourself with people who uplift and support you. If you are not holistically healthy, you won’t be able to enjoy the holiday season as much.

3. Prepare. Again, easier said than done. But when you set a budget (and stick to it), schedule your shopping/wrapping/cooking/baking/sleeping into your calendar, plan your meals and write out grocery lists beforehand, you’ll eliminate a huge amount of stress from your holiday season.

4. Find gratitude. Forget about “keeping up with the Jones’s” and be thankful for the abundance in your own life: love, health, family, friends, food on the table, a roof over your head, running water. The things you don’t have, well, they don’t matter. Focus on the things you do have, and be grateful for every. single. one of them.

5. Ask for help. There is no shame in asking for support over the holidays (or anytime for that matter). In fact, no one person should be responsible for all facets of your holiday festivities. Whether you need support with cooking or baking, decorating, shopping or wrapping, just ask. If you don’t advocate for yourself, no one else will.

These ideas are just a few simple suggestions for a stress-free holiday season. Of course, there are millions of Americans who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) this time of year, or who need professional help to stay safe during the holiday season. If you notice changes in your or a loved-ones sleeping patterns, appetite, irritability or mood swings, fatigue, or any unusual physical symptoms, please consider speaking with your doctor or counselor.

Contact Creative Counseling Center

If the holidays have got you down—whether you’re feeling depressed, anxious, or experiencing grief in any way—please contact Creative Counseling Center for a free phone consultation. Together, we’ll collaborate and determine if counseling will help you improve your day-to-day life during the holiday season… and all year long.

To request your free phone consultation, please complete the brief form below and a member of our therapeutic team will be in touch.

Wishing you a very happy and holistically healthy holiday season.

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