“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Make the Yuletide Gay. ~ Ralph Blane

You can thrive, not just survive, and create a wonderful holiday season this year. You just need to do four things:

Keep Your Holiday Season Expectations Rational The most important contributors to a happy holiday season are the expectations you create in your own mind about the holidays. You can’t make them perfect – people get sick, and recipes don’t always turn out as expected. You don’t have to have the perfect party, perfectly behaved children, or the most beautifully decorated home. Give yourself a break. You’ll be happy you did.

Take Care of Yourself During the Holiday Season Trying to diet during the holiday season will make you feel like a failure and ruin the festive nature of celebrations and parties. But you can try to eat healthy. Eat foods that gives you most of your calories from vegetables, fruits, grains, and other delicious low-fat ingredients. If you eat better, you feel better. You have more energy. Exercising regularly also will help you control weight and boost your self-esteem

Take Control of Your Time and Limit Commitments You don’t have to attend every event just because you received an invitation, just as you don’t need to answer your cell phone just because it is ringing. Even better, add a touch of joy to the season by not making too many commitments, failing to keep them, and then experiencing guilt and stress over your procrastination and failure.

Take Time to Enjoy Family and Friends: Establish Traditions You have one life with a limited amount of time. Spend the time of your life with people you love. Make sure you don’t spend the holidays trying to change your siblings or redressing grievances from years past. Share memories and laughter. Take time for personal reflection. Establish traditions at home and at work. Traditions change as time passes; make sure you establish new traditions with family members. You are limited in establishing traditions only by your imagination.

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