Most people, especially parents, struggle with stressful feelings around the holiday season. Between the normal workday and year-round responsibilities, plus the added weight of gift shopping, holiday parties, visiting family, spending money, decorating, and extra cooking (this list goes on and on), many people struggle with feelings of anxiety, irritation, or downright depression. It doesn’t have to be this way, though!

Here at StrongMarriageNow, we are proponents of a simple philosophy: you are responsible for your own mood and attitude. If you allow yourself to be angry, you will be, but it is no one’s fault but your own. I’ll say it again – you are responsible for your own mood and attitude.

Now, let’s apply that concept to the holiday season. If you’re feeling stressed about decorating the tree, take a moment to reflect on how much you loved to decorate the tree when you were young, how special this moment is for your children, or much you’ll enjoy the tree when the decorating is finished. It will only stress you out if you let it.

When the stores are packed, and people are fighting over discounted electronics or this year’s popular new toy, instead of letting all of those people upset you, move calmly through the traffic. Demand serenity from yourself and you will have it.

It helps to remember that all the hullaballoo you go through around Christmas time, the baking, the gift-wrapping, is all means to an end, that end being making your friends and family happy. Relish in that feeling, and be prepared to receive their efforts for you. Allowing yourself to be stressed and angry will only nullify the positive effects of your actions.

If you speak your intentions aloud, and remind your family that you are putting in a lot of work (calmly and pleasantly, of course), they will most likely be all the more appreciative. Voice your choice to be in a good mood, and ask your family to do the same.

If dinner burns or the tree topples over, laugh it off! You’ve put in the effort, and there’s no use fretting over preparations designed for your enjoyment. What you accomplish will be great, and what you don’t will be OK too.

You’re supposed to enjoy the holidays. Make the choice to do so!

If you’d like more information on how to beat holiday stress and our proven step-by-step system to revitalize and save your marriage with no office visit, check out our Marriage Counseling System.