3 Tips to knock out holiday stress

What IS the reason for the season?

For some, this is the time of year when they gather with families and friends.

Some have had to change the way they define family due to transitions in their lives.

This time of year can be one of the loneliest times for people. We struggle with many emotions during this season of celebration.

Here are a few things that you can do to improve your mood this holiday season:

1.     Focus on the good in your life.

I believe that we are each given good and happy memories each day in our lives. That’s a bold statement. Don’t you think?

Sure, some days are happier or brighter or richer than others, but there is still happiness in each day.

Some people may feel that there are no happy days in their lives. It is up to us to see the good in each day. It is there!

It may be as simple as removing negativity or looking for the simple things that tend to fade into the background of our everyday lives. For example, statements like, “I woke up today”, “I have freedom today” or “I have food today”. It is so easy to overlook the good things that we each experience.

Acknowledge these things each day.

Write down at least 5 things that you are glad to have in your life.

Put them on your refrigerator.

Look at them often.

Smile at your good fortune.

Tomorrow, do this again.

It would be cheating to say the same things over and over, just because laziness grabs you in a weak moment.

2.     Take the time to appreciate others.

Have you ever experienced the strong feeling of pride when someone gives you a compliment or praise? I don’t care if you are five or 85 years, our spirits are raised by the kind words of praise.

Sometimes, brightening someone’s day can be so easy. A statement such as, “That color looks great on you” or “You have such a beautiful smile” can make somebody’s day.

Can you find the kindness in your heart to share a kind word? Now, please offer it as a genuine statement. It can make the difference in a good day or difficult day for a stranger or a friend.

3.     Connect with friends, new or old.

It may be tempting to isolate yourself when you are feeling down. Unfortunately, that can make the feeling of loneliness worse. Connecting with friends can be a great way to keep those feelings of isolation at bay.

How I love to get that call from a friend from the past. Even from the first hello, my face is smiling and my voice excited.

I am exhilarated by the exchange of memories and happy thoughts.

Holiday cards are always a great way to connect, but a simple phone call is an extra special way of saying that you care.

There is no excuse for not saying thank you today.

There is no excuse not to forgive someone who sincerely apologizes right now.

There is no excuse for not taking ten minutes of your time to call someone who needs you.

Try to remember what the season is really about and focus on the good things. Enjoy the rest of the holiday and have a great 2014!