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Practical & Emotionally Balancing Tips for the Holidays

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

Can you believe we are almost at the end of this year?

What a crazy and interesting ride this 2020 year has been. The holidays are around the corner, Thanksgiving and Christmas are both an exciting and yet a stressful time for families. So many mixed emotions that take place around those dates. For many it is a happy time, for others it is a time where the pressure of needing to spend extra money is stressful or having to see that one family member that makes them angry is a challenge. Others are nostalgic about the days that no longer are here, missing that special person that is now watching over from above.

I realize this is a time when we all need a bit of extra support especially after the year we have had so far. So, below I am listing a few reasonably simple tips I discovered to be helpful and emotionally balancing.

Stress Management.

Sometimes we do not notice how stressed we are until we get sick. I invite you to ask yourself, how can I manage my emotions better? Personally, I have found that taking one minute or even a few seconds every two hours to simply be and breathe, goes a long way. Those deep belly breaths literally reset your nervous system and helps you get back to center while providing a renewed sense of tranquility. A little movement can provide a feeling of ease too. Going for a five-minute walk and enjoying the day or the night and feeling the air or observing the trees can have a pleasant effect on your mind and body too. There’s nothing like the fresh air of nature and it’s beauty.

Plan Ahead.

I think I speak for all of us when I say gifts are the best. We feel loved and appreciated. If you are on a budget though, the feeling of giving becomes a burden. That is why planning is so helpful, making a list of the people you wish to gift and having a financial plan can put things on perspective. And instead of waiting until the last minute to go and get it all maybe you can pick a few things one week and a few the next. A lot of stores and even online shops have great deals for the holidays, so it is a good idea to take advantage of that. I am a believer that the intention and the thoughtfulness of the gift is what makes it unique and if it is a cute item that just makes it a perfect present.

Quality of time.

The world is moving so fast, always something to do and somewhere to be. Please take a moment for your own peace of mind at least once a day. Perhaps a few minutes at the end of each day to acknowledge what went on can make a big difference. When you give yourself time to process what is going on in your life and even in the life of those you love, then your reaction to situations or comments are less triggering. Quality over quantity, especially when it comes to time. I believe it is better to have quality of time with someone than to spend hours together without having a real sense of connection or a meaningful interaction. When you are reunited with your family, even if you cannot spend all the time you wish, the quality of moments you share together will be the memories to cherish later.


We all communicate differently, but the tone we use when communicating is what truly gets the message across. Gathering with family members from various ages, beliefs and cultural backgrounds can be challenging. When talking about sensitive topics the best policy is to use just a few words and have a respectful tone to other people’s points of view even if we do not agree with them. Boundaries are important, a simple no or yes is enough. There is no need to get defensive or over explain yourself, you are allowed to be you and they can be who they are too. If the conversation is too intense or you feel uncomfortable or angry, walking away is best. That way you avoid saying or doing something that later you might regret.


Eating habits and preferences are unique. Vegetarians and vegans are more common than ever before. And others want to stay in their optimal shape, so they follow a particular diet. Considering all of this I would like to point out that respect and communication are extra important. If you enjoy a particular meal or have a regiment that you follow and you know that in the family dinner your preferences can’t be included, then ask if you can bring something you would like so no one is offended. Be flexible with yourself and others too, having a delicious dessert or a little more than usual to eat will not affect your overall health. Just be sure to drink plenty of water and listen to your body, a little extra is nice just do not push yourself to eat way too much because later you might not feel too good.

I hope these easy tips help and give you a few ideas on how to have a more pleasant and stress-free holiday season. I saw this quote the other day and I love it, so I wanted to share it with you. “The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect on our blessings and seek out ways to make life better for ourselves and for those around us”.

-Arelys Perez Mustafa

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