How to Keep the Joy in the Holiday Season This Year

By Misty Zdanski

Nov 12

The holidays are upon us! Christmas is part of that season, of course, with its vortex of insanity that sucks in almost everyone, but also Thanksgiving which is more universal to our audience, and a few more specific, happy holidays that finish out the year.

No matter which of these you celebrate, what I have to share today could help you either as someone who is celebrating or as someone who is caught in the wake of everyone else’s chaos.

Now what was I saying? Oh yes – “The holidays are upon us!” This simple statement can evoke so many different reactions from people – Excitement, Fear, Stress, Anxiety, Joy, Peace, Exhaustion, and maybe a combination of all the above! Which feeling(s) does it inspire in you?

Holidays are about a time for joy and gathering with your family, but sometimes that joy is overshadowed by exhaustion, overwhelm, or frustration. Just thinking about your mile- long “To Do List” that includes grocery shopping, cooking, gift shopping, wrapping, decorating, scheduling, planning, traveling, and on and on and on, can make you wish there was a such thing as eloping from a holiday.

Or at least hiring a personal assistant – wouldn’t that be awesome? <insert sigh of relief here>

But enough with the fantasies. What are some real ways that you can enjoy this beautiful time of year without the need of screaming at the top of your lungs out of frustration and overwhelm (or hiring that personal assistant)?

Since helping people keep their center in the middle of life’s chaos is part of what I do, let me share a few tried and true tips to get you in that peaceful, warm spirit that I like to call Holiday Joy! Some of these will sound familiar because they’re standard wisdom, but I’ve also thrown in a few that come from the same intention-setting perspective that I use in SoulMate Coaching:

Gratitude Journaling

Get out your journal, favorite notebook, or just a simple piece of paper and write down everything you love about the holidays! Be really descriptive and include everything you can think of, down to the flavored candy canes (one of my favs), until you can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell your favorites parts of the holidays! The goal is to fully immerse yourself into the joys of the holidays and the true meaning of this time of year, and to raise your vibration to one of Gratitude!

When you sit in Gratitude, beautiful things happen. By doing this, you are setting the intention for the holiday season – e.g.,”I am experiencing joy and happiness this holiday season!” – and emotionally anchoring it into your reality with pure positive energy. Remember, Gratitude is one of the highest-vibrating emotions that a human can experience.

Plan Your Stress Out of the Picture

Now that you’ve covered the happy stuff, it’s time to be proactive about potential sources of stress. Take a moment and write down situations or people who may cause some stress, or anxiety, or chaos in the next few weeks. When you can pre-plan a response, you can take control and not allow it to diminish your Holiday Joy. Think of it as using your left brain (intellect) to pre-empt unwanted reactions from your right brain (emotions).

My suggestion is that you consider what scenarios have caused stress in the past, and establish a Plan of Action that keeps you grounded in your Holiday Joy. Here are some examples:

Situation #1: Preparing Thanksgiving dinner
Plan of Action:

  • Write down the meal plan
  • Create a grocery list
  • Plan cooking times
  • Elicit help
  • Mentally prepare for any mishaps
  • Come up with some creative ways to share the work,  like my favorite – A Cookie Exchange Party with friends where everyone shows up with a couple dozen of cookies to share. This way, you bake two dozen cookies of only one recipe but come home with a variety of cookies to add to your dessert table at Thanksgiving!

Situation #2: That one person we all have who make things a little less…joyous.
Plan of Action:

  • Recognize and accept that this person can trigger you. (You can be a good person on a spiritual journey and still get triggered!)
  • Commit to yourself that you will not allow this to happen because you are living in your own Holiday Joy!
  • Pre-plan ways to avoid getting triggered, such as minimizing time spent with them, safe topics of conversation, or rehearsed excuses to leave the room.
  • Pre-plan ways to cope when you ended up getting triggered anyway, despite your best strategies. If you start feeling some negativity building up ,- stop, take some deep breaths, and think about your gratitude list – all those things you love about the holidays! Stay in this moment and allow the joy to flow through you.

Just Say No!

It’s ok to say no to things that add to the stress. You have to set clear boundaries for your own self care. Too much is too much, even if they seem to be happy things. We want to be able to do everything, but more importantly we need to respect our limits. Take a moment to reflect on what is most important for you to do this holiday season and commit to those. Cherish every moment, and make every moment one to cherish!

Be Intentional

Nightly before going to bed, take a moment to visualize how you want your day to go for the following day, including how you want to feel throughout the day. Not how you think it will go, but how you want it to go. Remember, you are a powerful being who has the whole Universe at your fingertips!

When you wake up in the morning, take a few moments to set an intention to have a positive, productive day like you visualized the night before. This simple act of visualizing and being intentional can make a world of difference in your day!


The above are a few tips are things you can do on your own to create Holiday Joy through mindfulness and intention. If you feel that you need a little assistance in getting in the holiday spirit, I can offer hypnosis as a way to help you remove some of the triggers that typically create chaos during your holidays:

Group hypnosis sessions at Zenquility’s upcoming Gratitude Days

Several times over Thanksgiving Weekend, I’ll be leading “Group Hypnosis for Relaxing During the Holidays.” In the group setting, we can address some of the common triggers and plant positive suggestions in your subconscious mind that bring you more of that peace and joy you desire.

Private hypnotherapy sessions

If your triggers are more specific, or if you want the personal attention, we can do a private session to eliminate rising feelings of anxiety, stress or overwhelm, so that you can feel grounded and fully enjoy time with your family and friends.

I encourage you to check out one of these hypnosis options as part of your strategy for Holiday Joy. Hypnosis is a deep meditative journey that communicates with your subconscious mind in developing healthy, effective strategies for managing stress and practicing mindfulness. Changes are more effective when made on the subconscious level. Studies have shown that hypnosis is an effective tool to reduce anxiety and stress-like symptoms.

You, and only you, can decide how you want to feel and interact with others during the holidays. You absolutely deserve to experience peace and joy during these last couple months of 2017, and it is absolutely possible for you to do so.

Happy Holidays!