The holidays can be stressful.

As much as we enjoy the lights, music, gift-giving and social gatherings, many people struggle during the holidays in their relationships.

Unfortunately, we put undue pressure on ourselves and others to perform in ways that we don’t expect the rest of the year.

We expect Christmas parties to go a certain way.

We expect to receive certain gifts.

We stress about how much to spend.

We wrestle with how many Christmas cards to send out and to whom.

On and on it goes.

So, amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays, how can you protect your relationships so they not only survive but thrive? Consider the following 4 actions:

1 – Be kind to yourself.

The greatest pressure we often feel is what we place on ourselves, not what others place on us. Give yourself grace and permission to not perform. Be authentic. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect. Focus on investing in your valued people, not performing for them.

2 – Take the pressure off of others.

If you are attending parties at others’ homes, lower your expectations and let them know you simply want to spend time with them. Help them understand you’re not there to judge how perfect their home looks or how smoothly the party goes. Encourage them to enjoy the moment with those they value most.

3 – Be realistic.

While your holiday parties may not look like the Hallmark movies, they are special moments. Be realistic. Don’t “break the bank” trying to out-do yourself or impress others. The less stressed you are, the better you will be for your valued people.

4 – Say no.

This may be the most difficult thing to do. In The Way To Greatness, I address the topic of “assessing your relationships.” I bring up the difficult idea that there are some people whom you need to spend less time with or no time at all. If there are people in your life who make things difficult, minimize or eliminate your time with them. Don’t force yourself to give more to them than necessary. Some people are toxic to you. Say no to them. Refuse to go to events out of obligation where you know you’ll be miserable.


Navigating the holiday stress is a very real challenge. If you want to enjoy the season, make the commitment to implement these four actions and see how this year can be different than those in the past.

Until next time…make today GREAT!

If you need a transformational plan to develop healthier relationships, click HERE to order your copy of “The Way To Greatness” + receive the digital interactive PDF workbook. You will receive a guide to developing a powerful action plan by working through the steps of “Choice #2 – Protect Your Relationships.”

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