Stress, Survive or Thrive?

And so, here we find ourselves close to the end of another year. For some, it’s a fiscal year end, for others, mid-term review and correction, and for most a time of holiday celebrations. It is a season of endings and preparing for new beginnings. Any one of those by themselves is quite a load to bear.

This, more than any other time of year, is where life’s major stressors converge. Business, family responsibilities and other obligations are magnified. Let’s take a look at what really happens.

If you own, run or work in a business, it’s a time for measuring results. Year end closing, inventory, vendor review, bank reviews, performance reviews, etc. At the same time, it’s highly likely that the strategy and budgeting process are still not complete for the New Year. There is no more time to make management adjustments and corrections. It’s time to close the books and the numbers don’t lie. Wise leaders have no surprises, however, there are always those things, like the market for instance, that are beyond the control of even the wisest leaders. Hopefully, the numbers are good, the stakeholders are happy and the New Year will be even better. If not, it’s a tough way to end a year, and a tougher way to start the New Year, particularly with the pressure to show progress in Q1 or Q3.

Let us not forget the other side of our world; the personal, family, social, spiritual and financial pieces of the puzzle we call our lives. This is also the time of endings and beginnings just in our business/professional lives. For some, the holiday season is fun and exciting. Family traditions and time spent with friends and family is long awaited and enjoyed to the fullest. Others, struggle through this time of year, for a variety of reasons, and some take it all in stride. When you stop to think about it, it all makes perfect sense. In addition to the normal stressful lives we live, also add on shopping, decorating, sending cards, going to and hosting parties, preparing grand meals and dealing with family dynamics. It’s a wonder we make it out alive.

At this point, you may be wondering why you have chosen to continue reading this article, it feels a bit heavy. Reality is hard to face and it’s harder to write about, so here is the golden nugget you’ve been waiting for, my holiday gift to my readers. Are you ready…it does not have to be this way folks. You can have a great holiday season if you choose it and are willing to slow down and pay attention and focus on what is important to you and your family.

By the time you read this article, Thanksgiving will have passed. The meals will have been consumed, the parades are over and a few days of focusing on thankfulness and gratefulness will resume its former state of attention with each individual. Unless…you decide to continue being thankful and grateful every day, this is the first step in creating what you want for the holiday season and beyond.

Here is my recipe for a truly happy, enjoyable and memorable holiday season.


  • Gallons of gratitude
  • Tons of clarity and focus
  • Mega tons of courage and desire
  • Trillions cups of love, kindness and respect
  • Heaping tablespoons of kind and loving communication
  • Nutritional value – calories 0, peace and happiness 100% daily intake

Sit with your family or yourself, depending on your situation. Pour your gratitude into a large bowl. After that, gain clarity and focus by discussing what you want the holidays to be like as you stir gently. What do you want to do and not do, who do you want to be with and not be with. Now gently and slowly stir in the courage you need to be true to you and your family’s needs, despite outside expectations. Sprinkle in the desire to communicate in a loving and kind way.

Okay, I can hear what you’re saying. Is she crazy, how can this be done; I can’t disappoint or hurt others during the holidays, and what about tradition. If you go back to the ingredients list, notice the third on the list, courage and desire. This recipe is a complicated one, and as true with any holiday recipe made from love and kindness, its fail proof. All the ingredients are important, but the most important is to treat everyone with love, kindness and respect. We are all in this together and together, in truth, we can all look back on this holiday season without regrets and with happiness and gratitude. If you are inspired to change something that will make your holidays happier, I invite you to send me an email if you have a question.

I am grateful for you my readers and wish you all the happiest holiday season of your choice.

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