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3 Tips to love yourself this holiday season

Colleen E. Crane MSW, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker based in Bozeman, Montana. Colleen is currently in private practice and specializes in working with adolescent girls and women.

Find holiday happiness

Halloween is done and Thanksgiving is around the corner. Those glossy catalogs have already started to arrive in your mailbox. What to do when that cashmere sweater calls your name and threatening your credit card? Here are three things you can do for yourself during the holiday season to avoid spending money and still find happiness.

Woman writing in gratitude journal

Start a gratitude journal

A daily gratitude journal is an easy way to reflect on all the things you're grateful for, right here, right now. Start the journal today, and as the holidays get closer, you'll have a journal full of special moments to remember. The things that you're grateful for don't need to be earth-shattering, just important to you. For example, I'm grateful for my dog, who wakes me up every morning in a good mood. Gratitude journals don't cost money, they don't have to be fancy and they don't take a lot of time. Try for three things that you're grateful for every day.

Tell us

What are you grateful for this holiday season? Share in the comments section below.

Set a goal

Set a goal for yourself during the holiday season. Maybe it's to reach out and call an old friend once a week or send a handwritten note expressing your appreciation to a co-worker or family member. How about a goal to get out and exercise every day?

The goal can be big or small -- it doesn't matter. It's the thought and time spent developing that goal that's important. I like to set goals about donating my time or goods to different nonprofits during this time of the year. I make it my goal to donate at least one bag of food to a local food bank, cleaning my cabinets out to help someone in need. Setting the goal to clean out my closet has never been so easy, knowing that my clothes will go to someone who can really use them. Donating that coat that's been sitting in your closet, unworn, for three years can help someone stay warm all winter long.

Meditate

Meditation doesn't have to involve sitting in a lotus position and humming "om." Meditation can be as simple as sitting in your shower and just closing off the world for a brief moment in time. How often do we just sit, even for a second, during the holidays? Not often. With television reminding us every day to get moving and buy more stuff this time of the year, it's hard to resist.

Try closing your eyes, take 10 deep breaths and notice if your inhalations and exhalations are even in duration. If not, see if you can take 10 more deep breaths with even inhalations and exhalations. In the time it takes to do this simple exercise, you've given your body and mind a chance to reset.

Learning to take care of yourself through the holiday season without "retail therapy" can be hard; whether you're single or have a family, the temptation is there. Consider these three things at the start of your season and see if it helps relieve some of that impulse shopping. Your credit card will thank you come January!

More tips for holiday health & happiness

Improve your holiday health with the power of forgiveness
5 Surprising ways to stay fit during the holidays
Naughty nutrition: Healthy holiday foods that make you feel sexy

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