The Happiness Professor

5 Ways to Stay Happy During the Holidays

I love when the holiday season rolls around. Many people are happier, nicer and give more of themselves to those in need. It’s also a time we spend with loved ones and are more appreciative of all that we are and all the blessings in our lives. Sadly for many, the holiday season that starts with Thanksgiving and ends with the New Year is not a happy time but a time of stress and unhappiness. A lot of people are grief stricken over the loss of loved ones or overcome with loneliness.

My father died over 10 years ago and I still miss him, even more during the holidays. He really loved Christmas and made sure the family came together to celebrate. Instead of focusing on what’s missing because he’s no longer here, I embrace all he meant to me and taught me over the years.

Increase Your Holiday Happy


Sadness, overeating, overspending and time demands can make the holidays not so much fun. But with a few simple changes you can minimize the stress and increase the joy. You have the power to make the holidays a fun, enjoyable and memorable time!!

 1.    Feel What You Feel

If you’re sad or experiencing grief during the holiday season be honest about what you feel. We all have days that are not at our maximum happiness level. Acknowledge that. Give yourself time to feel the feelings. If you need to cry then do that but give yourself a deadline. 24 hours, then focus your attention on the blessings in your life.

 2.    Reach Out and Touch

Reach out to family and friends. Make a call, write a letter, find them on social media or go out and do something fun. Share your memories, catch up on old times and have some laughs. Spending time with others can help reduce feelings of loneliness and increase happiness.

 3.    Be Grateful

Instead of focusing on all the things that are going wrong or that you don’t like about the holidays, focus on the things that are going well and bring you joy. You are alive and breathing, that is something for which to be grateful. If you are employed, have a roof over your head and have people to love and love you back that is something to glad about.  Write one thing each day for which you are grateful then watch your optimism and joy increase.

 4.    Exercise

The holiday season is when many of us put on the extra pounds (me included). Foods and drinks we normally don’t consume during the year are readily available during the holidays. Things like eggnog, sweet potato or pumpkin pie are staples at holiday gatherings. Instead of over indulging and feeling guilty have some of your temptations but include exercise each day. Exercise not only helps you keep off unwanted pounds but it also increases energy and improves your mood.

 5.    Start New Traditions

If old habits and traditions no longer serve you, do something different. If you always have dinner change it to brunch. Mix up the menu or the location. If spending lots of money on gifts for people that already have everything no longer brings you joy then give donations to charity in a loved one’s name, buy toys for children living in shelters or volunteer your time serving food to the homeless.

 You have everything you need to have a great holiday season!


PS – Don’t forget to get your free  7 Day Happiness Makeover


Dr. Carolyn Edwards is the Happiness Professor, speaker, coach, trainer and author of I Look Good, I Feel Good, I Am Good. The Woman’s Guide to Love, Peace and Happiness helping women worldwide get their happy back and live amazing!!

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