I’m wishing you a warm, happy holiday and I would like for you to have a stress-free holiday.

Many of us get stressed during these times. There are times when there’s shoulds that we have. “I have to do this” or “I should do that.” We often overextend ourselves. Here are some suggestions.

One is if you’re ever in a place where you’re feeling stressed out, give yourself permission to stop. Take some breaths. Relax. Take a couple days off even.

Another thing is sometimes we have expectations about events, about how they’re going to be, whether we’re going to like it or we’re not going to like it. It’s great to have no expectations. So if you can catch yourself and just go into every situation taking it as it comes, it’s a much better place to be in.

Also, there are so many different invitations and things going on for the holidays, sometimes we overextend ourselves. We feel like we need to say yes to all these invitations. I want to give you permission to say no. Don’t overextend yourself, so that the places you actually go to, you’ll want to be there. You won’t be as stressed and you’ll be more present. In general, it will be better for you and everyone else.

The last suggestion I have is you have a difficult family situation where it’s stressful, there are certain people in the family that rub you the wrong way, it’s great to have one person you come with, whether it’s your spouse, your partner, a friend or even a sibling or somebody in the family that you feel safe with where you can check in beforehand and talk maybe about your intentions of how you want it to be and how you would like to behave.

Then if there are any rough spots through the evening or the day, there’s some sort of codeword that you have or hand signal from across the room where you could take a break, go somewhere in private and just debrief and check in with one another – and maybe even check in at the end of the evening.

If you have a difficult situation, this will make it a whole lot better.

I’m wishing you such a good holiday. Thank you so much for showing up and participating and listening to my videos. I really appreciate you and want to thank you for your time. Happy holidays.

By: Sevin Philips, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist