1 Finding its True Meaning…not a time for evaluation nor criticism. I must share with you that it is not humanly possible not to think about all those memorable times with loved ones whom you have shared past holiday seasons. There are regrets perhaps and for some a happy time and for some of you ,sadness. Think of, if you can a happy, surprised, good surprised moment you recall or something totally silly or funny about this holiday if you just have to return to the past. A meditative moment has been noted to reduce stress. Thanksgiving is just around the corner and those most celebrated gift -giving days are not so far in the distant!  So go ahead and deck the halls for goodness sake! Actually not just yet, there’s Thanksgiving!

Perhaps there’s a special bulb you have made for the Christmas tree….a song that you like though you can’t really carry a tune…if you can handle a comedy live show ..definitely attend….we all could use a laugh or two… invest time in helping others or visiting someone less fortunate than you. I will leave it up to you to find your meaning for such a holiday celebrated by many throughout the world in their own way.

 2 Logistics: Travel, Budgetary, and Social Arrangements:  plan Ask yourself if it’s going to be stretch or strain on your budget about the  purchase of gifts? So you’re in that unemployment boat that millions find themselves this holiday season, so what? Don’t give up, keep looking for that job! However don’t accept any factitious and or real credit cards! It’s not your money. Do shop for bargains …they’re out there? Plan months ahead for that holiday plane or train or bus ticket? Travel safe? Check your tires and an overall check-up of your car?  Get ample rest before and after your trip or holiday vacation.

 Get physically and emotionally ready: Am I ready for this. Holidays are not immune of past events and moments in one’s life that are not always happy times. Keep in mind that you will most likely cross family and friends and past admirers during this time. Try  keeping those times separate. Not a time to evaluate though you are approaching the end of another year. Give praise and gratitude ..there’s much to be simply thankful for. Find a gym or a yoga class ..exercise is so important for relieving stress. Eat lots of veggies and fruit. Get and give lots of hugs but stay away from the common cold and all other communicable viruses if possible.

4 It will come and go…. Visualize what would blow your top off? Don’t go there then. You do have the ability to dummy down some of those in the past memorable stressful experiences.

 5 Most importantly: Find time for self….take a break from all the hustle and demands placed upon oneself during this particular time of year  (find a good book to read)  take an impromptu walk/ stay away from the tv/ stay away from big crowds/drink lots of water and juice….minimize your alcohol content(take it from me…alcohol does not alleviate stress!)….give thanks often no matter what your faith or religion happens to be….take a nap in the middle of the day… stay away from last years holiday experience… perhaps I didn’t cover anything that would truly help you alleviate what’s placing so much stress in your life but at least for the moment you were forced to tread somewhere beyond yourself to a world of possibilities when it comes of thinking and getting ready for one if not the biggest holiday seasons of the year! Show a little gratitude starting with Thanksgiving. This will lower your stress tremendously as you plan your celebrations next month.

 Lastly, don’t drink and drive….find a designated driver or hide the keys.  Remember, it’s not always about you or me or where and how quickly we need to get there.

 Oh, by the way…an early Happy New Year  to you all !

 Curt Canada- Board Certified Coach at Adapting2change in Washington DC coaches clients in areas of  personal, workplace, and leadership development f2f and via  Skype and web-conferencing.