Are you just retired? Relocated? Recently separated or divorced? Missing a child during the holidays? Lost someone you loved? When your life has taken an unexpected and unfortunate turn the holidays can be grim. Sometimes you find yourself dreading the shopping, decorating, parties and slogging through old memories. Sprinkled throughout are the good times for sure but it’s still tough during the holidays.

Thanksgiving is upon us a mere three weeks after an endless summer! I can’t think of one person that’s ready for the crazy weeks ahead. There are the Hallmark Christmas movies and the decorations that have popped up weeks ago. We’ve started planning for Thanksgiving. We’re anticipating parties with families, friends and co-workers. We want to avoid dreaded situations and family members but aren’t quite sure how to make this happen.

The holidays magnify loss and life change. So many things are triggers for good and bad memories. It’s the most emotional time of year. We need emotional endurance. How do we physically and emotionally fortify ourselves so we can thrive during this time of year?

With a bit of planning and forethought you can fill your holidays with more joy than tears. You can actually thrive, not just survive. A good dose of positivity, determination, creativity and planning will increase the fun and lessen the blues.

Here are 5 ways to GRINCH-PROOF YOU!

STRATEGIZE FOR FAMILY GATHERINGS. Be prepared for the awkward. Think of responses before you meet some of those less than supportive family members and “friends” and make sure you have an exit plan. For those more difficult events, you might want to recruit a “wing man”. What to do for those awkward questions? Flip the conversation and ask “…and, how are you?’ Make the other person the focus. People love to chat about themselves and it will provide cover for you. It works every time.

TREAT YOURSELF. Taking care of you is so important. Buy a little something you’ve been wanting for some time. Grab a cup of coffee at your favorite place with a friend. Do things that refuel you.

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH HUMOR. Laughing with friends releases endorphins, the “feel good” biochemical. Watch a funny movie or a sitcom alone or with a friend.

EXPRESS GRATITUDE. So very important! This frame of mind sets you up to see all the good things still in your life. Keep a gratitude journal this holiday season. Each morning write down. Start small. A good cup of coffee, a warm bed, your kids’….Think of as many things as possible. The length of the list will grow after a few days of practicing gratitude. You definitely feel more upbeat. Try it. It works.

BOOK A LIFE TRANSITIONS ADVISOR!

Did you ever think it would be great to have just one professional you can tell your life story to and they’d help you navigate the change? Well, a new company is here. ClearSky Life Transitions is a resource management company that helps men and women find creative solutions to complex life-altering events. That means, if you need a financial planner, attorney, real estate agent or mental health professional, we can get you connected. Plus we’ll create a custom plan, just for you, with you. We throw in lots of support through scheduled appointments, Zoom, Facetime, calls and texts.

You don’t have to go through the holidays in hyper-stress mode. Determine to thoroughly enjoy the holidays no matter what. Best wishes on Grinch-proofing yourself for the weeks ahead. Jingle Jingle!

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