The holidays can be overwhelming for the most organized and prepared host/hostess. The thought of the holidays can include family traditions, hosting gatherings and a lot of planning of the planners. In actuality we could plan every hour, from the moment we rise out of bed to the second we shut our eyes; however, reality is sometimes plans change.

Life happens. A professor of mine once referenced this as ‘happenstance’. It’s those moments in life where an individual stops to question themselves and say “What in the heck just happen” or  “That just came out of the blue” All this means is we don’t have as much control as we think, but what we can control; lets….

So the holidays…

Holidays have a tendency to effect a large magnitude of people in many ways. Those individuals with mixed emotions, some are full of voids, the in-laws at  family gathering, tighten budgets and the sadness of loved ones. Believe it or not family gathers can even make the faint at heart miss the individuals that seem to only show up to wreak havoc or the peacemaker become overly vocal, and let’s not forget the adoring soundboard.

I could go on and on, but I’m sure you follow where I’m headed. So what do you, do. Now that you’ve read this and the emotions have officially surfaced. How do you put the top back on the jar and carry on? How do you mustard up your strength and drive to pick up the kiddos? Okay. There isn’t a magic answer. Good news is, there is an answer.

The answer varies for each individual so I’ll give you some holiday tips so you can put the ‘I’ back into HOL’I’DAYS. It’s time for you to get right back into the middle of it all.

H – Have a whiff of citrus, studies have found that certain citrus fragrances boost feelings and alleviate stress

O – Owe it to yourself and loved ones to be mindful and grateful for those you have around you and shower them with love

L – Laugh a little more, it’s far more contagious than cough, cold or sniffle. Laughter is strong medicine for mind and body

I – Incorporating mindfulness meditation (unconditionally present) and continue after the holidays to help with the stress and anxiety of everyday life

D – Delegate the duties out to others, get them involved and be mindful, they probably won’t do it your way, but that’s really ok – it’s the holidays

A – Attend a local support group may be helpful during this time of the year

Y – Yoga, it’s worth a try

S – Spend a few minutes daily leading up to the holiday event remembering the good times you shared with your loved ones.


Nesha Smith is the Graduate Counseling Intern with in the Stepping Stones program at Step By Step Counseling, LLC.