12 Days of Christmas - Day Six

On the sixth day of Christmas, The Costa Group gives to thee: 6 Tips for Surviving the Holidays.

The holiday season is a wonderful time for gathering together with loved ones. Many of us will find ourselves surrounded by family and friends, enjoying meals, and exchanging gifts.

However, there are Americans for whom this is a time of stress, loneliness, and anxiety. Some have neither family nor friends to share the holidays with. Others do, but the experience comes with its own set of tension and issues.

No matter your circumstances, there are ways to prepare yourself for the season and all that comes with it. Here are six tips for keeping in tune with your emotions and finding relaxation and happiness during the holidays:

  1. Anticipate obstacles to your well-being. Think back and remind yourself of situations that have caused you stress or negative feelings in the past. Once you have identified these situations, you can prepare yourself to encounter them again, and come up with different ways to deal with them or avoid them altogether.
  2. If you’re feeling down, do something opposite. Change your mood by doing something helpful for someone else. Volunteering or an act of kindness can make someone else’s day, and improve your mood in the process.
  3. Schedule memorable activities. Research shows that happiness increases with experiences, not material things. Revive an old childhood tradition, or start a new tradition of your own.
  4. Find meaning in the season. Attaching a value, meaning, or purpose to the season can help you connect and feel good about yourself.
  5. Try deep breathing. If you’re particularly stressed or find yourself overcome with negative thoughts, deep breathing can help calm you down. Lie on your back and breathe deeply and evenly, focusing on the air going in and out of your lungs. Do this ten times.
  6. Live in the moment. Focus on doing only one thing at at time, allowing yourself to live in the present and stop worrying about things you have to do later.

Not all of these strategies will be right for everyone, but find 3 or 4 that work best for you and try them out this year. Get through this season with less stress and more love and happiness!