I put some Christmas lights up this week on my front yard fence this week. Pretty lights and a pretty moon, but a candy cane with a blown fuse and a broken reindeer. Holiday life is an imperfect dance. Breathe.

Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, we’re like a runaway train heading straight through the holiday season.

So now is the time to be smart about how you want things to go.

NOW is the time to decide, to make a plan, to be intentional about how you will handle the chaos of broken decorations, late nights, long lines, testy or inconsiderate relatives, low bank account balances, and all of the other stressors that may plague you between now and the beginning of February.

Don’t wait until it happens.

Decide now what to focus on.

Decide now that you won’t let it get to you.

Decide now what strategies and techniques you will use to navigate the stress. . .

Will it include self-care?

Will it include an attitude of gratitude?

Will it include serving, giving, loving, or a sense of wonder and play?

(By the way, if you don’t have a toolbox of strategies, I highly recommend this or this. . .)

Decide NOW what your plan will be.

Decide NOW that you will take care of YOU.

Because you’re worth it.

But most of all, as the holiday stress piles up, keep breathing.

In, out.

Inhale. Exhale.

(No, I’m serious. Breathe. Really.)

And when you find yourself getting a little crazy during the next few months, decide who you will reach out to for help, for solace, for your own personal sanctuary*.

And don’t be afraid to do it.

And of course, you always know where to find me if you need some tips to deal with the craziness. Maybe I can offer some suggestions.

(Now of course we all know that there will be plenty of GOOD stuff during the holidays, too. But when the stress rises, at least now you know what to do. . .).

​Feel free to make it real and get some accountability by commenting on this blog, emailing me, or sending me a tweet with a response to this question:

When things get nutty this holiday season, what’s your plan?

Happy holidays from The Zen Teacher.

Talk soon. TZT

*What a great name for a book! More on that later!