The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and love, but every year there are scores of people feeling stressed as the so-called festive season approaches.

It could be because they’re dealing with a personal crisis that would be difficult to handle at any time of year, but stress can also be brought on by the (perceived) need to get “everything” done before the holidays, or feeling overwhelmed and disheartened by a sense that the holidays have become so commercialized as to be spiritually meaningless. We’ve all had a moment or two of that, I’m sure.

Cheryl Perlitz, mountain climber and life change expert, says, “Survivors are those who choose to take care of themselves first, create a positive environment, surround themselves with a positive people, take charge of their lives, and give to others.”

And she does know, firsthand, about stress and pain. Surviving the tough period after major loss, and adjusting to a new life, taught her that the survival skills she experienced on the mountain apply even more in our daily lives.

Here are some of Cheryl’s key tips to survive holiday stress:

Take care of yourself
Make sure you take care of yourself with pampering, small gifts, physical and emotional self care.

Say no to unnecessary activities, get rid of negative people, and find simple solutions to the holidays that can make your life easier at this time.

Do things you’ve always wanted to do — but didn’t
Try new things that are creative, simple and even a little risky.

Surround yourself with lots of color, great smells and positive things
Nurture yourself with an environment that makes you feel better: sounds, fragrances, and bright colors.

Surround yourself with life, people and activity
Connect with people, old and new, known and unknown – and animals that give you unconditional love.

Honor the people who are missing from our lives during the holidays
Honor old memories, talk about loved ones, show pictures, and reconnect with old friends.

Change traditions, but keep some things the same
Keep some things the same but be open to create new traditions that work better with a changing situation.

Give to others
Giving to others warms your heart, puts your life in perspective and takes the focus away from your own feelings.

Now a motivational speaker and life change expert, Cheryl Perlitz is the author of 3 inspiring books, a dynamic speaker and frequent radio and television talk show guest. Her fun and motivational stories and survival tips help her listeners and readers to transform their challenges into opportunities for positive change. Read more about Cheryl’s positive approach to dealing with personal difficulties, or request her 50 free holiday survival tips to help you to survive the holidays emotionally and physically, on her website at


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