No need to slip into a funk during the holidays.

If you are already experiencing more stress than usual due to work, moving, or a challenging relationship designate October as your planning month. It’s not to early to start thinking about how to survive November and December. You’re going to need to become more mindful, to tune in and reconnect with yourself.

We have many types of relationships, but none more important then the one you have with your Inner Self. Take charge and identify what makes you feel good and what doesn’t. Clarify for yourself what increases, and what decreases your energy. Once you have a good-sized list, grab your calendar and start scheduling a few things each week that increase your energy.

The best way to survive the holidays is to create some clear intentions before the holidays begin.

Intend to make this year meaningful in some small way. Don’t spend time thinking about what you “should” do. Listen to a piece of music that moves you and write down six things that you positively enjoy. Choose the top four, think about each of them, one at a time. As you do, notice your body – is it becoming more or less tense? More tension = should.

  1. Identify the tasks that don’t work for you and those that do. Then create intention around what does work, focus on what makes you happy, on what you enjoy. Delegate some of what you’d prefer to avoid.
  2. Consider the people, places or things that bring a feeling of gratitude. Spend time each day bringing those things to mind and taking 30-60 seconds to feel the pleasant feelings that well up.
  3. Often, behind feeling blue is the need for connection and a sense of belonging. There are times when we need to face that we are in pain and that we need to be self-compassionate and gentle with ourselves. Then other times all we need is to connect in a meaningful way with others.

Remember, this is your holiday, be kind to yourself. What would make this day enjoyable for you? Make a production out of it, or keep it simple, but make it yours. Use ritual, lights, candles, and incense. Use mood music and an impromptu dance floor in your kitchen. Or, reupholster your dining room chairs if that gets you going. Plan for your needs and desires.

Here are some more ideas for re-framing your holidays:

Volunteer, in a soup kitchen, with children in group homes, or the elderly in various facilities. Join a meet-up. Call a friend who is alone for the holidays. See a play. Say yes to an invitation. Try something new and follow through. Volunteer to make cookies for an institution, city government office or a place you frequent. Make crafts, knit, sew, color, or invent a creative project. Designate a “craft-day” and invite someone over. Sing! Play music, light candles, meditate, pray, dance. Create a photo album. Use aromatherapy. Write a story, start a blog. Read something uplifting, or romantic. If you’re having a lot of feeling, write them down and try to find corresponding needs that match them. Take a spontaneous trip to a city you’ve never visited. Go camping and ignore the holiday trappings. Cultivate curiosity. Be yourself.

I offer workshops and private coaching for men and women who are investigating new direction in their lives. Check out my free assessment at

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