The holidays can be the most stressful time of year. There is travel, family, friends, presents, decorations, work deadlines, too much food, and not enough time! This year we have the added pressure of an economic crisis. All the while, TV keeps telling us that this is “the most wonderful time of the year”. It’s amazing we ever survive!

Most of us at this point in life have probably made a lot of progress in finding joy and peace in our lives. But, there is something about being around family and friends at the holidays that tends to bring out the immature aspects of our nature, and we end up yelling at our brother “I really have become a bigger person, if you would just shut up and listen to me I can tell you how great I am, darn it!”

Every November, it can feel like bracing yourself, dreading the fights from crowds and raised tensions, and worrying that some people will be disappointed. There is so much potential for joy and frustration that it can be tempting to simply hold your breath until New Year’s Day.

There is a better way of surviving the holiday season and all that comes with it.
It calls for a two-fold approach. You need a mantra and a holiday buddy. I suggest you take advantage of both to ensure a much more pleasant experience.

First, let’s look at creating a mantra which is a statement you can easily recall in moments of stress and insecurity that can help ground you and remind you of the joy and peace within. (or whatever you think you may need to tap into.) This is something you prepare in advance so it is “on call” when the need arises.

There are two aspects to effective mantras. First is that it must be short and simple so it is easy to remember. What’s the point if you can’t remember it when you need it. Second is that it must resonate within you. When you say it, it changes your energetic make-up and relaxes your heart.

Your mantra is going to be unique to your personal needs. I recently led a workshop addressing this very issue. Here are some of the mantras that people came up with:

Enjoy each and every moment
Just breathe
Go with the flow
Do my own thing
It’s all about love, man
Everything is going to work out great

To come up with your holiday mantra, think about what will help you to flow through this time of year with joy, peace, and grace? Once you’ve got one that really feels good, make it visual so you can remember it easily. Hang it in the kitchen, by your desk, or write it on a rubber band and put it around your wrist. Whatever you need to do to have the mantra available whenever you need it.

The second tool for surviving this emotionally charged season is a holiday buddy. This is someone you can talk to privately about your worries and fears for the days to come. Perhaps preventing you from venting to everyone you come across. Your buddy could be a spouse, sister, parent, or close friend. Tell your buddy what behaviors you are hoping to avoid and ask for their support.

It’s helpful to designate a buddy who will be with you on the most stressful days, but someone who is simply a phone call away can be just a powerful. If your buddy is remote, I suggest setting up phone calls for each day, so you know that you will have that time to disconnect from your surroundings and touch base with someone you totally trust to accept you no matter what.

Say you want to avoid a confrontation with your father, who always seems a bit disappointed in you. So, you ask your buddy to “rescue” you if he notices that tensions are beginning to rise. This may be a sudden need for your help in the garage, giving you a moment to breathe and regroup, or simply touching your arm as a reminder, or putting on some lively music. Do the same for your buddy, be the support that he needs in order to get as much peace and joy as possible from the potential holiday chaos.

So, armed with a mantra and buddy, the holidays won’t seem quite so overwhelming. It’s just a little bit a prep work that can make a huge difference in the days to come. Good luck and here’s wishing you’re a wonderful holiday season! I know you will make it through just fine.

Author's Bio: 

Jessica Sabatini helps people laser blast their long standing blocks and experience true lasting success. To download free affirmations that will propel your confidence and life to new levels, visit Prosper with Purpose.