Healing Arts, LLC 
Integrative Counseling for Adults & Adolescents

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Holiday Tips

Posted on December 8, 2013 at 7:35 AM

Holiday Tips: Less stress now, Less Regrets later


1. Take time to sit down with your family to discuss the real meaning of Christmas for you and your family. What does Christmas mean to us individually and as a family? How can we have happy, healthy and safe holiday? What/who do we need to say "no" to? What are our boundaries and limits? How do I want to act during the holidays? What spiritual theme can we practice? How does our family celebrate the true meaning of Christmas? What are our traditions? What do we want to remember about Christmas when we look back? How can we bring more peace and joy into our lives, our homes, our families, our schools and neighborhoods and of course, the world.

2. Money: People tend overspend for gifts and holidays preparations. Plan a budget and stick to it. Spend within your means. Honor your limits. Be creative. Give your time, blessings, prayers, energy, and attention as a gift to someone. Write Christmas love and validation letters to people who are special in your life. Bring your gift list with you when you go shopping. Be honest with yourself about what you can really afford. Don't compare yourself to others. Practice gratitude during this hectic season. Do we really need more or do we just want more?

3. Food: People tend to overindulge and go crazy on food during the holidays. You don't need to overdue it with carbs and sweets. You can say no. You know you will regret it. Try to keep up your regular self-care routine as difficult as it may be. Make some healthy veggie dishes, soups and salads, you can enjoy eating at parties. Reframe: Less is best! It's not deprivation to not stuff yourself or have cake and more cookies. It's making a healthy decision for your body that you can feel good about.

4. Stress: Holidays are very stressful. There is so much pressure to host dinners, travel, spend, eat, find the right gift and to deal with dysfunctional family members. Manage your stress level with good self-care. Take time to rest, breathe, relax.Help your children manage their stress. Malls can be an energy drain. Plan to go shopping when the stores are the least busy. Make honest decisions about how you want to spend the holidays. Ask yourself: Do I really have the time, money, energy and desire to do this? People pleasing adds a lot of stress to the holidays. You can only do your best and then let the rest go. Progress not perfection.

5. Parties: People end to drink way too much during the holidays. If you are in recovery and don't drink, stay close to your sober friends and meetings. Follow suggestions on how to deal with situations where alcohol will be served.

If you do drink, stay safe. The legal limit is .08 for driving your car. Don't drink and drive. Never get in a car with someone who has been drinking. Ask for a ride, call cab, take public transportation. Remember alcohol is only a stimulant after the first drink, then it is a depressant.

Underage drinking is against the law but teens need to be able to call their parents for a ride if they get into a situation involving alcohol. Be safe!!

6. Holiday Traffic: People tend to get irritated and angry about lines, traffic, crowds and at the store employees. Expect more people everywhere during the holiday. Accept things will take more time than usual.Try to be kind, compassionate and patient with yourself and others.





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