The holiday season often brings unwelcome guests-stress and depression. The holidays present a huge demand for parties, shopping, baking, cleaning, and entertaining.

While we cannot control the world around us, we can practice our skills to navigate our challenges and focus on what is most important to us. Create a more stress-free holiday season for yourself and others with the following skills.

  1. Mindfulness

Mindfulness is about paying attention to the present moment. It is about directing what we want to focus on. During the holidays our minds get hijacked by worries about families, get-togethers, gifts, and balancing the competing pressures of the season. The remedy is to slow down and focus on this moment, taking one thing at a time, and doing exactly what is needed. Also, remember to take time to practice breathing which can ease the pressure.


  1. Pleased (Interpersonal relationship)

The pleased skills are all about self-care. Many of us cope with stress by indulging in the excess of the season. It feels good at the moment but probably works against our larger goals. This is the time to be more mindful of eating healthy, balanced food, getting more movement in our day, and improving the amount and quality of our sleep.


  1. Willingness (Emotion Regulation)

This skill is the opposite of trying to control everything. Being willful limits and when appropriate, learn to let go and go with the flow. Be willing to do whatever is necessary to accomplish a goal or to contribute to a get-together or another person.  Holidays can make us feel out of control, which we sometimes react to by trying to control everything. People who practice will learn to bend so they don’t break!