1. Life is NOT fair. Almost daily something unfair happens to us. The holidays are no different so expect unfair things to occur during this holiday season.
2. Avoid either-or/good-or-bad thinking. Today is not going to be a good day or a bad day. Good things will happen and not so good things. Likewise, this holiday season will have positive occurrences and not so positive happenings.
3. Money never brings happiness. Understand that money, or the lack of it, will not determine your holiday happiness. Memories and not material things is what you will remember from this Christmas.
4. Don’t expect perfection from life. Perfection is the enemy of good. Hope for a good Christmas not a perfect one.
5. You can’t change family or friends. This holiday season accept the fact that your family and friends will be the same as always so take them for who they are and go with the flow.
6. Avoid absolute thinking like “always” and “never.” Thinking we have “always” done it this way or we “never” did that before during the holiday season will only create stress. Openness and flexibility will lead to a happier holiday season.
7. Don’t have binocular vision. Avoid focusing on just negative occurrences with the holidays so they don’t become bigger than they really are. Look at all the positives to have a more realistic outlook on the holidays.
8. Avoid labeling people and experiences. Others will have differing opinions and behaviors. Nonetheless, you can still enjoy them and not let that diminish your holiday happiness. Focus on the good qualities of family and friends.
9. Think percentages in life. Every day is somewhere between 90%(A-) to 60%(D-). Daily, this holiday season will also have a range. Expect this holiday season to average about a C+ to B-. Anything more is very satisfying, anything less is then not too disappointing.
10. Avoid mind-reading. You can never know what another person is thinking. Look at the facts not your feelings when assessing how family and friends are enjoying the holidays.
This Week: Begin implementing one or two life principles to help with holiday stress.