Ask Dr. Joy Miller: A Joyful Season

By WEEK Producer

December 19, 2012 Updated Dec 19, 2012 at 7:51 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- We are well into the holiday season now, but has all of the hustle and bustle of the season beginning to wear on you? Dr. Joy has some advice.

By now, you have probably been to several holiday parties and you may have even had one Christmas celebration with family.

Last week, Dr. Joy showed us all the things that can take the Joy out of the holiday season. Tonight, she has tips for creating a Joyful Season.

How can you have a joyful, healthy and loving holiday season this year?

Here are some tips:

1. Be realistic. There is no perfect holiday; something can always go wrong: the rolls might burn, you didn't get your cards mailed in time, or perhaps you didn't get all those cookies made that you wanted to give away for gifts.

The key is to focus on being realistic about your expectations and not creating schedules that are unattainable and filled with demands.

2. Focus on the meaning. Holidays have become materialistic with holiday decor going up in October and countless ads & made up holidays inviting us to buy buy buy. Joyful holidays focus on the REAL meaning of the holidays-- being with those you love, warmth, and focusing on the spiritual meaning that is important to you and your family.

3. Give back. The true meaning of the holidays is about giving- not through gifts that focus on materialism, but that focus on giving of yourself. Perhaps this year, you might consider cutting 10 percent of your gift purchasing and giving 10 percent more to donating, forgiveness, helping others, or working at a shelter or food bank.

Other tips for a Joyful Season:

1. Be gentle with yourself. It is impossible to do everything. Obligations and guilt too often fill the holidays atmosphere. Allow yourself time for yourself to rest, to replenish and to relax.

2. No is never a 4-letter word. It takes great strength to set limits and boundaries. It is better to say "no" to something you can not do well, then to say yes, and not follow through or be resentful.

3. Create a budget and a schedule and stick to it. You deserve to be happy this year and the way to do that is to create a holiday that fits your lifestyle and your budget.

Remember the meaning of a joyous holiday is about the giving of yourself to those you love, including yourself.

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