How to be Happier, Less Stressed and More Resilient this Holiday Season


As the season of Pumpkin Spice Latte’s (PSL’s) is here it can only mean one thing, the Holidays are quickly approaching! Try and resist the urge to have the Norman Rockwell Thanksgiving; a picture-perfect Holiday card to send out, the perfect presents for all your family and friends and a Ryan Seacrest-worthy New Year’s Eve.

Instead you could find comfort in knowing its not going to be perfect and there are going to be disappointment. That’s okay, that is what makes us human. This holiday season give the gift of self-compassion to yourself. Here are some tips to help you start.

  1. Remember you are human. Like the rest of our species, you will at some point experience pain and suffering. It is part of the human experience. Chances are you are not the only one feeling overwhelmed, exhausted or perhaps grieving over those who might not be with you this season. Our natural instinct is to turn inward and suffer alone. Challenge yourself by recognizing that there are others facing challenges and enduring grief as you are. You are not alone.

  2. Encourage yourself with words of affirmation. Sadly, we tend to use harsh criticism when speaking to ourselves rather than kind words. If you wouldn’t say these things to your friends or family, why are you saying them to yourself? Rather than saying “I should of done xy or z” or “I’m so stupid can’t believe I forgot….”, “if I were smarter I would have…”. Wouldn’t you rather spend time with someone who speaks kindly to you?

  3. Try to embrace being in the moment. It is the only time we have control over. Rather than rushing to what you have on the books next week or the next party you have to go to try and enjoy what’s unfolding before you. Use your five senses to ground yourself in the present moment. The more we focus on the future, the more likely our anxiety levels increase. Focusing on the past, we tend to become melancholy over things we miss or things we might regret. Instead let’s challenge ourselves to enjoy the moment in a positive light making it our focus.

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    © 2016 by The Brookhaven Center for Counseling & Wellness, LLC.