Happy Holidays! Or is it? As the holiday season heads to a climax, I can’t help but see, feel, and experience the intense swing of emotions that people around me are going through.

On one hand, many are excited about celebrating. They become child-like about all the Christmas lights and decorations; enthusiastic to see gleeful faces when gifts are opened; anticipating the fun of being with friends and family; and of course, they become hungry for all the great food! One the other hand however, there is a deep sadness, fear, anxiety, and anger that grips a lot of people too during the holiday season. So many are reminded of the loss of loved ones; the stress of the busy season; fear or anger of having to be around certain people at parties; or anxiety about buying gifts when there is already debt and weight-gained from all the good food. Some even have to share their kids because of divorce and so on.

Both good and bad emotions are experienced during the Holiday Season, and it can be very intense for many of us. Which begs the question, what can we do to set ourselves up to enjoy the season more?

Here are 4 Simple tips to help you during the Holiday Season:

1.       Forgive, and enjoy your time:

Forgiveness is healing for your body, soul and spirit. Our past can become a prison. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you agree with any injustices you may have suffered before. On the contrary, forgiveness is a decision to break beyond the pain of betrayal by letting go of the emotional ties that weigh us down with regret.

To start your path towards healing, write the names of the people you need to forgive today. Write down what they did or didn’t do. If it happens to be yourself whom you need to forgive, write down what you did or didn’t do. Now choose to whole-heartedly forgive and receive forgiveness. Speak it out loud, and allow yourself to internalize this confession. If you need to repeat it a few times in order to really get it out of your heart, then do so. Forgive so you can sincerely enjoy the Holiday Season.

2.       Don’t accumulate debt because of Gift Spending:

Expectations for holiday presents seem to grow every year, and that’s one more thing that makes the holidays expensive. Somehow in attempts to top last year’s exchange, you end up swiping your card more than usual. MagnifyMoney did a holiday debt survey and found that during last year’s holiday season, Americans took on an average of $1,003 in debt, and this amount has increased consistently from previous years.

Here are 3 tips to cut costs for your holiday shopping:

·         Set a spending limit for each person

·         Only spend what you have in your account

·         Don’t buy yourself anything

3.       Don’t make Alcohol the focal point

It’s party season! Whether it’s with family, workplace or among friends. With all these celebrations inevitably comes the opportunity to indulge in alcohol. This is all fun and good until someone gets out of hand and creates a problem that can’t be ignored. If you can’t have a good time without some liquid courage, you just might end up hurting yourself and those around you. Beware not to permanently attach enjoyment in life to alcohol. This is a sure way to rob yourself of the satisfaction of simple pleasures. After all, it’s the little things in life that count the most, and if you aren’t sober enough to enjoy them, life will pass you by.

If you are likely to drive at any point during your festivities, make sure not to drink. If you aren’t the designated driver, set a limit for yourself anyways. Be honest with yourself as well. If you know you need help keeping things under control, let someone else know your limit to keep yourself accountable. You don’t need to have a drink glued to your hand all night to have a good time. And above all, remember why you’re doing this.

4.       Exercise and Watch your diet more carefully during Holiday Season

So many gain weight during the holiday season because they think, “It’s the Holiday Season, I’ll diet after the New Year!” So many make the mistake of making Thanksgiving and Christmas a week of feasting instead of a one-day indulgence. We must change our perspective and instead of piling your plate with things that don’t really satisfy you, pick food that gives you true enjoyment. Another tip is to start with a broth-based soup or salad, then move on to lean protein so that by the time you reach all the sweets, all you will need is a few bites to feel satisfied. Another good idea is to “pre-eat” something with protein and vegetables so you don’t easily overindulge.

These are not laws or rules to be a killjoy. They are tips to help set you up for a great holiday and a strong start to the New Year. Be present, be healthy and nothing will stop you from being able to enjoy yourself.

Happy Holidays!


Richard Martinez

Intl. Transformation Expert