Monday, November 23, 2009

Preparing for the Holidays

The Holiday season is rapidly approaching. Though, traditionally a time of joy and celebration, the holidays can also be a time of increased stress. All of us have limited resources especially in terms of time, money and our ability to manage emotional stress. Preparing for the holidays often means stretching these resources even when many feel that their resources are already being stretched to capacity. However, with a little planning and effort all of us can experience some holiday enjoyment without causing financial and/or emotional bankruptcy.

Here are some tips that you can use to help make holiday time less stressful.

Set Healthy Expectations:
* Do not expect perfection of yourself or others.
* Simplify family traditions that may be too expensive, time consuming or non conducive to your already hectic lifestyle.
* Avoid feeling compelled to attend every holiday event.
* Prioritize what is truly important in making the holidays special for you and your family.

Be fiscally responsible:
* Before you go shopping, decide how much you can afford to spend on gifts or other holiday expenses.
* Stick to your budget.
* Use cash as often as possible. Using credit cards often leads to spending more than you can afford and usually makes what you are buying more expensive due to interest and finance charges.
* Explore ways to express holiday cheer that do not cost lots of money.
* Look for ways to share expenses especially in regards to gift giving and event planning.
* Remember that you truly can not buy happiness, love or acceptance.

Alleviate family strain:
* Set Differences aside.
* Avoid using holiday gatherings as a time to resolve old and recent grievances.
* Accept family members for who they are, not who you wish them to be.
* Understand that not everyone experiences the holidays the same way. Be supportive to those who appear to be struggling.
* Remember that the only happiness you can truly control is your own.

The most important thing to remember is to be kind to yourself. Pace yourself, eat well get enough rest and let the true spirit of the holidays, Peace & Love guide you.

If you or someone is needing support during the holidays call PTC (954) 741-1099.


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