We are racing into the time of the year when the car feels like it’s in warp speed, making stops all over town and creating stress with every winter storm and red light. Let’s take a moment to check ourselves as we head into this holiday with a positive attitude and a plan to keep things manageable (and enjoyable!)

When thinking about attachment, consider your own needs. The holiday season places undue pressure on the people who are often the most giving and most accommodating, which seems really unfair. If you are hosting the holiday or inundated with in-laws, take a moment to make sure you are taking special care of yourself and that you enjoy the holidays because you deserve it, too.

Tip #1 Book That Massage You’ve Been Dreaming About

Massage and bodywork are not luxuries – they’re necessary. You have gotten the latest digital games for the kids and perfectly placed the presents under the tree. Give yourself a gift that helps those sore chef’s muscles feel loved and that nourish the soul. Massage, Reiki, energy work, yoga, and meditation are at the core of keeping your body (and your mind) healthy. Don’t make it a New Year’s resolution. Make it a NOW resolution.

Tip #2 Hide the Phone

Sharing photos and celebration wins on Facebook and Insta can be fun, but social media can also isolate you and make you feel like you’re not “winning the holidays.” Put the phone away and resist the urge to cyber-compare with your millionaire cousin, who hired Michael Bublé to serenade her guests on at the party of the year.

Take pictures that touch your heart; post them later. There might be a dreidel app, but that doesn’t mean it will make you happier or more fulfilled. Focus on YOUR family traditions and how they make you feel more connected to those who have passed, and pass those on to the new little ones in your family.

Tip #3 Stop and Enjoy Those Special Moments

What makes you feel connected? Is it creating your own special moments or carrying on great-grandma’s traditions? Honor what feels right for you and remember that the holidays are among the most nostalgic of the season. Take a moment to snuggle your beloved dog or cat, grandchild, niece or nephew, and steal those moments for yourself to keep precious every day of the year.

Tip #4 Don’t Go into Debt

For those people who live life on a budget, you should not be paying off debt until March (or later!). Give your heart. Give your recipes. Give what you can when it feels right to you, but going into debt is stressful and often the worst part of the celebration. Suggest a name exchange and a price limit if you feel like the holiday spending is getting out of hand.

Focus on being grateful from start to finish. Nothing makes the holidays more magical than an attitude of gratitude.

Tip #5 Honor Your Truth

Are the holidays difficult for you? Do you miss a loved one who has passed and experience grief this time of year? Talk to a trusted friend or relative and find a way to honor your loved ones who have passed that feels right for you. Often, remembering and keeping loved ones alive through holiday traditions can enliven memories and soothe sadness.

  • Make a favorite recipe
  • Play a beloved song
  • Pray or meditate
  • Talk about your loved one
  • Create a shrine or altar

Grandparents, parents, and significant others help shape our celebrations, whether they are here or have passed on.