This is it—the time of the year when you’re either ecstatic, start decorating the day after Thanksgiving, buy an ugly Christmas sweater, put up lights like the Griswold’s, listen to Christmas music on the way to and from work, and are completely infused with the holiday spirit. Breathe! Or you feel like Scrooge, with no desire to celebrate Christmas—which in your mind is a day just like any other. You don’t care to buy a tree (what for, it’s just going to die); you turn off Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You!” (because you don’t want her or anyone else; you just want to be left alone); and you avoid parties like the plague!

Either way, the holidays are a time you either love or hate. They can be very stressful. Regardless of how you feel, there's a lot of energy spent on getting ready, often leaving you feeling drained and exhausted.

Here are a few tips to help you stay centered during this busy time.

1) Focus on the things you have, not what you wish you had. Be grateful for all the good in your life.
2) Be aware of your limits regarding spending, drinking, and socializing. Too much of any of these things can make things even worse.
3) Try to have some time to yourself. During the holidays it’s all about getting together with family and friends. While that’s fine, it can take a toll. Also, try to fit in some walks just to clear your mind.
4) Don’t set your expectations too high. Nothing has to be perfect. If you’re having a party, no one’s going to notice a little dust on the furniture, or a dust bunny on the floor. Do the best you can; people are there to be with you—they don’t care about how clean the house is.

If you’re in the second group—Mr./Mrs. Scrooge—here’s some advice for you.

Perhaps you’re not enjoying the holidays because you’re alone, or because your family isn’t like something Norman Rockwell would paint. Or maybe you’re broke, or have lost a loved one. There could be a number of reasons. Just know that in only a few weeks, it will be all over. But for now do the best you can. If you’re alone, donate your time helping others. What better way to surround yourself with people while at the same time doing something good? If you’re broke, don’t buy presents, and get into a mountain of debt out of obligation. Write a letter or make something. I guarantee you that will last longer than something you buy. If you’ve lost someone, it will be difficult to be without them; no way to get around this. Be with the people that are there for you, and allow their support to carry you through this time. Only time will heal this one.

The holidays can be hectic. Hang in there. In just a couple of weeks it will be all over. Then you relax, and let out a big sigh of relief.

Author's Bio: 

Rossana Snee is a Marriage & Family Therapist. She has worked with individuals, couples, and families. Her present focus, however, is working with young women in their 20s, specifically 21 - 26. She facilitates a monthly group called An Afternoon With Josh's Mom, whereby she guides, empowers, and promotes self-love. Her goal is to provide these young women with the guidance to make decisions in their best interest.

Visit her at,, and Twitter (@askjoshsmom). She endeavors to inspire and motivate, and to be a springboard for her reader's self-growth.