Holidays Without the Headaches

Everyone I’ve spoken to seems excited about the holidays but also bracing themselves. The idea of getting swarmed by hordes of people in a mad marathon, all hitting the finish line at the same time, in an effort to get their Christmas shopping done creates a “little” stress for most of us. Add to that the many exhausting events and time spent with family in a web of outdated dynamics causes some of us some definite trepidation. And let’s not forget the planning of the big events too…. So, I think this year, let’s do it differently. Let’s do it with ease and simplicity and a lot of laughter. Here are some helpful tips on how to get through the holidays without the headaches.

1. Start a relationship with Online Shopping – it’s fast, it’s friendly and it always satisfies. For those of you that have not yet discovered this wonderful advance in technology, let me paint a picture. You get home from a long day at work, put on something comfy, make a nice meal, pour yourself a nice glass of wine, grab your shopping list and plop yourself down on your sofa. It’s a good time now to kiss your tablet, because it’s about to make you very very happy. Why not buy everything you can buy online? You beat the rush, you get great deals starting the first week in December, you don’t have to fight your way through traffic or the crowds and it comes delivered, even gift wrapped, right to your door. Sigh. Bliss.

2. If you do need to get to the stores, late night shopping or early Saturday or Sunday are best. You get in and out efficiently and cross things off your list like a champ.
3. Take time to celebrate a good day of holiday making by looking after yourself. Pour yourself a beautiful glass of wine, have a bath, see some friends or do something that just feels good.
4. Create a mental schedule of when you’ll be busy with holiday commitments and when you’ll have time to do other things, like relax. If you’re busy planning or shopping, schedule it, say till 9 pm, then after 9, disconnect, not just from the act of shopping but also the act of thinking about all of it. Be present in what you’re doing and say….it’s not my busy time. I did that already. It’s my time to relax. There is nowhere else I need to be except right here in this moment, looking after myself.
5. Appreciate the comedy in your family. As weird and wonderful as they are, family time brings out the nerves in us all. Set the intention that if those moments come up, that you will take a deep breath and see how absurd and comical it is. Imagine your family is a dramatic comedy… and you’re all just characters in the great story of your life. Shakespeare said… “all the world’s a stage And all the men and women merely players..” Then imagine the night unfold with laughter and lightness and grace. This allows you to set the intention and visualize an evening free of tension so that if something does come up, you can let go of the emotion of it, and embrace the gorgeous, the strange and the lovely that is family.
6. Take a moment to notice the people in your life and all the things to be grateful for.
7. Celebrate the beauty of the little things.


Happy Holidays to all.

Zahra Karsan