Avoid Stress, Anxiety, Drama and Blues This Holiday

by Neseret on December 14, 2011

Half a roseWhen life on earth is ending people don’t surround themselves with objects. What we want around us is people. People we love and have relationships with. In our final hours we all realize that relationships are what life is really all about and wisdom is learning this sooner rather than later. So don’t wait till you are on your death bed to figure out that nothing matters more than forgiveness and relationships.

~ The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren ~

We all desire to experience more happiness in our lives. Holidays can be times when we can experience more peace, love, joy and harmony. Unfortunately holidays can also be times when people experience a lot of stress, anxiety, drama, pain and sadness. There are many different reasons why this is the reality for some people. However it really doesn’t have to be this way.

Regardless of your situation and circumstances you can choose to enjoy this holiday and or any holiday significant to you for that matter. What makes the difference between having a positive, uplifting holiday experience or the opposite is all in our perspective and how we approach holidays.

What has been your experience of holidays? What are your views about holidays?

How you think about anything affects everything. How you think about holidays will affect your experience during those times. Recognize that you have no control over other people’s thoughts, feelings and actions. However you have control over your own thoughts, feelings, views and actions.

In every case there are helpful thoughts, views and action and unhelpful thoughts, views and actions. Here are a few ideas, thoughts, and views that will make your holiday more pleasant, stress free, and enjoyable as holidays could be!

Create Your Own Meaning

So this is Christmas and what have we done? An excellent question for contemplation from John Lennon’s inspiring classic song Happy Christmas War is Over.  Another question could be when did Christmas become more about monster lists, crowded malls, and emptying bank accounts?

Holidays are not supposed to be anxiety provoking, stress producing, and plain maddening commercial events. A few simple definitions of holidays to refresh our minds.

1. A holy day

2. A day of freedom from labor; day set aside for leisure and recreation

3. A period of leisure or recreation and or vacation

4. A day set aside by law or custom for the suspension of business, usually in commemoration of some event

So many people get caught up in the same mindless, boring, routine rituals of holidays. Why not step outside of the box and do something different? Why not decide what a particular holiday means to you and personalize how you celebrate it? Do you have to do everything everybody else is doing?

Perhaps this year you will decide not to spend money you do not have on gifts. Maybe you decide to give all the money you would have spent to your favorite charity. Perhaps your gift could be experiences instead of material possessions.

People will always have memories of experiences.

You can choose how you spend or not spend your time, energy, and money during holidays. You do not have to succumb to family’s, society’s, or anyone else’s expectations and pressures about how you spend your holiday. Decide to create your own meaning and don’t fall in to the usual trappings.

Broaden Your Definition of Family

“A family can mean the one we were born into, or one we’ve chosen. It may be made up of relatives, or loyal friends. It may be linked by lineage – or by love alone. Most of us have some of both kinds of family in our lives. A family is anywhere you want and need one. You carry your family spirit within you. Family is a frame of mind.” ~ A Family Is A Circle of People Who Love You by Doris Jasinek and Pamela Bell Ryan ~

What is your definition of family? How does the way you view families affect your experiences during holidays and in your life in general?

As human beings we are social creatures. We want to be with people who care about us during times of celebration. During holidays most people want to spend time with their families and enjoy each other’s company as much as possible. Some people are unable to do this with their family of origin for various reasons. They may have had unpleasant experiences in the past during holiday times with their families.

Others have had unpleasant and even traumatic experiences with their families during holidays and in their life in general.

If this is your situation please know that you are not alone. There is some degree of dysfunction in every family. The closeness of every family depends on their level of openness, communication, and committment to each other. In some families there maybe communication breakdown and many unresolved issues that negatively affect everyone involved.

Ultimately you need to recognize that you can choose your family. During holidays or otherwise you want to be around people who accept and love you for who you are. Those people do not have to be blood related. I’ve spent many holidays around people who were linked to me by love and those were some of the best experiences of my life.

Keep it Simple

I was watching a Christmas comedy movie recently and one of the characters was talking about kids and their christmas list. I’m paraphrasing here, but he said something to the effect of 100 years ago the average Christmas list from a child had one item on it and it was often something intangible like “Please help uncle sam feel better”, today the average child’s christmas list has 15 items on it and it is composed of complicated gadgets.

What are the messages you’re sending to your children about Christmas? What is it that you really want to teach your children about Christmas? These questions can apply to any other holidays.

Often the core holiday messages get lost in the commercialism that is so blatant these days. However people choose to be willing participants. No one is holding a gun to people’s heads forcing them to go in to crowded malls and spend money they do not have. Everyone has a choice.

You can choose not to be brainwashed by advertisements.

You can choose not to participate in midnight madness or any of the madness around holidays for that matter. You can choose to keep it simple.

Please take time to share your thoughts and comments with me here. If you enjoyed reading this article share it on your Twitter and Facebook. You can do so by clicking on the sharing buttons at the top of this post. Wishing you a holiday season filled with peace, love, and joy.

Blessings and Peace,



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandra / Always Well Within December 16, 2011 at 1:43 am


I love your message here that a holiday can actually mean a period of relaxation and vacation! I also appreciate what you’ve said about expanding our idea of “family.” Holiday craziness has never been center stage in my life. I’m so lucky that way. But they are stress for so many and I appreciate the encouragement you offer here.


Neseret December 16, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Hi Sandra,

I think simplicity goes a long way when it comes to celebrating holidays. People put too much undue stress and pressure on themselves around holidays, especially during Christmas.

What matters most is being around people who accept and love you for who you are. To me that is the definition of family – people who love you unconditionally. I’ve never made a big deal out of holidays either. I don’t think it is necessary.

Blessings and Peace,



Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: