Festive Season Tips

It’s enough to dampen anyone’s holiday spirit. The festive season is a time of giving, but it’s easy to just give too much.  It can be tough to cope with the stress but here are some tips to keep your self care in check:


  • Keep taking care of yourself. This is not the time to neglect your yoga class or skimp on your exercise routines. Continue to do what keeps you centred and energized.
  • Decide ahead of time what you’ll buy. Finances are the number-one stressor during the holidays. Consider doing all your shopping online or suggest a family gift exchange. There are probably other family members who will be relieved by your suggestion.
  • Ask for help. It can be a hard enough time keeping track of what we need to do, let alone deciding what others can do to help out. Be sure to post each family member’s duties on a chart.
  • Let go of the idea of the perfect holiday. Most of us think we can do more than we actually have time for. Better to plan too little than too much. Family traditions are wonderful, but as families change, adjust the holiday plans to your current situation.
  • Take time out from difficult family relationships with a vacation from the holiday season- and the frenzy that goes with it. Take your family on a trip the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Inform relatives that you’re celebrating the season differently this year.
  • The festive season might be difficult especially if you are grieving or experiencing something that leaves you feeling, well, less festive. Sharing that you are struggling with someone can help to lighten the load and make room for what you are experiencing.

Then comes the New Year with resolutions and promises of doing better which can feel like a lot of pressure. Like trying to live up to others’ expectations of us — again. What if we approached 2024 differently? What if we saw this New Year as an opportunity to try new things in a risk-free environment of experimentation and self-exploration? What if we allowed ourselves the freedom of a growth mindset and a starting point of success?

The psychologist Carol Dweck says that mindset is the most important thing that sets us apart in how we deal with challenges in life. In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work.

Neuroscience has demonstrated the brain’s neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain to continually be able to form new connections throughout our lives. We may have led most of our lives feeling, thinking and behaving in certain ways that we feel have limited us. The longer we have lived these patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving, the more those neural connections for those patterns have been strengthened. The more fixed our mindset may have become. However, adopting a growth mindset and appreciating that the brain can continually form new neural connections can help us realise that change is possible. Even long-lived patterns can be replaced by new empowering patterns.

It is possible to change the way you think, feel and behave at any age. How long the journey takes is difficult to say. However, with dedication, effort and work, transformation is possible. The journey starts with being open to believing that change is possible.

Wishing you a Happy New year for 2024!

© Corinne Crawford

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