5 Tips for a Happy Holiday Season

Sometimes it's tough--this holiday craziness also known as "HalloThankMas" in our household. There are presents to buy, cards to create, stamp, and send out, trees to decorate, cookies to bake---it's enough to drive a mom mad. But wait--there is a better way. Here are some tips on making this the best holiday yet.

  1. BREATHE - when you feel your body tense up, breathe. Take one minute and breathe in love, breathe out everything else (frustration, tension, worry, anger, etc.). Breathe in love through your nose and let out an audible exhale releasing everything else. Do this until your shoulders relax and your belly is soft. Read more on this infographic. This one minute breathing exercise will help you if you remember to do it!
  2. REST - not everything has to be done right now in this moment. There is time. Sit down. Put your feet up. Take a nap if you need to. There is no way you will be in the holiday spirit if you are dog tired. Plan moments of rest into your holiday--yes, even on Christmas. Announce to your family that at such and such a time--there will be a 10 minute (or even 20 or 30 minutes if you can do it) rest period for mom and dad to have some coffee or tea and put their feet up without anyone tugging at their sleeve to open another present or put batteries in their new toy.
  3. LIVE IN THE MOMENT - you know that old saying that "the present is a gift." Well, it's true. Stop every once in awhile and take it all in. Feel the spirit of this holiday--gift giving and love shared between family. Connect with your loved ones. Hug them. Kiss them. Let them know how much you care. That is the most important part of this season.
  4. BE THE KEEPER OF HAPPY MEMORIES - I got this one from Gretchen Rubin of the book, The Happiness Project. Get your camera (smart phone) and/or video camera and document these special times together. Carry this with you all through the holidays and take pictures of everyone. You never know what the future may bring. This might be the last holiday with a certain pet or family member. You may just treasure these pictures and memories forever.
  5. PRACTICE GRATITUDE - This goes along with #3. When you are living in the moment, you are noticing what is going on around you and when you are doing that, it's the perfect time to give thanks. So many of us forget how thankful we need to be that we have a roof over our heads, live in peaceful neighborhoods, have food on the table, and share the holidays with our loved ones. Let's remember to be grateful for the good lives we lead. This practice will lend a deeper experience of the holiday in almost every way.

Wishing you and your family the best of holiday seasons full of peace, love, and laughter! May 2015 be the best year yet!