The holiday season is upon us and while I think most people enjoy the holidays, it can also be a time of extreme stress. Life can get busy enough without throwing in gift shopping, attending parties, hosting parties, family get-togethers and whatever else gets crammed into a four to six week window of time.

We are also entrepreneurs and business owners, so we have to keep our businesses going and our clients happy with everything else going on.

Making time to take care of you during this extra busy time is essential! You know how on an airplane they tell you to put your oxygen mask on and then help someone else? Well that’s because you can’t help anyone if you’re passed out from lack of oxygen. The same holds true in any part of life. You can’t give to your family, friends, business and clients if you are depleted emotionally, mentally or physically.

So how can you make the holidays less-stressful and find time for self-care?

I’d like to share with you some techniques that I’ve found to be helpful for reducing stress by changing my mindset. I believe that we create our reality. By becoming aware of the situations and feelings we have that we don’t want, we can then shift our mindset to the feelings and situations we do want.

Of course, we can’t control how others will behave or treat us, we can only control how we react to what happens to us. These techniques will allow you to shift your mindset from stress to calm and to better handle any situation that comes your way.

Even though these techniques are simple and don’t take much time, I would suggest scheduling them in your day and making them a non-negotiable appointment with yourself (and keeping an open mind helps as well).

Ho’oponopono. This is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. I learned about this from Joe Vitale, who was in the movie, The Secret. This process is about taking complete responsibility for our experiences. It’s very simple to do. Let’s say someone does something to upset you. While thinking of this person, silently say to yourself: I Love You, I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you. Feel it emanating from you to them. Even if they are one who is upsetting you, you are asking for forgiveness for creating the upset. It will clear the air and energy around that person and you’ll find yourself having a better relationship with them.

I know this may sound “woo woo”(remember I said to keep an open mind) and hard to grasp how it works, but try it. It works every time for me. You can get more info about it by clicking here.

Tapping or EFT. EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique. You use your fingertips to “tap” on certain energy meridians in your body while you verbally acknowledge what’s made you upset, honor yourself for having those feelings and then positively reframe your thoughts. Tapping is easy to do and can be done any where you’re comfortable talking out loud and doing the actual tapping. You can find out more about Tapping, and the science behind it, here.

Meditation. Silencing your mind can do so many great things for you emotionally, mentally and physically. An amazing thing about meditation is that you can do it in small increments, like 10 minutes and still reap all the benefits of it.

I know that in a really hectic day it can be hard to quiet your mind for even 10 minutes. In those instances, I will use a guided meditation to help me focus. Abraham-Hicks has some wonderful 15 minute guided meditations and Hay House is a great resource for all types of meditation. You can even find some on YouTube. Bookmark the ones you like and then you can quickly pull one up to use when needed.

Being Grateful. People who regularly practice gratitude by taking time to notice and reflect upon the things they’re thankful for experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and even have stronger immune systems. When we are grateful, we are focusing on the positive things in our life and that awareness helps us see more and more things to be grateful for. We can be grateful for the small things in life as well as the big things.

It’s also important to be grateful for the things that we normally wouldn’t be grateful for, something we may label as “bad”, because there’s always a reason why something happens. You can be upset by it, or be grateful for it, even if you can’t yet see the benefit in the situation.

Share below what technique(s) you use to handle stress or difficult people in your life.