motion blurred imagery of yellow leaves on white barked aspen trees

Four key steps to having a happy holiday season

by Dr. Jody Stanislaw

The holidays can be a bit of a mixed bag…

On one hand, they’re a festive time of joyful gatherings, family get-togethers, colorful lights and decorations as well as a time to give and receive gifts and to share gratitude, love and appreciation.

Yet, for many, the holidays are also a time of immense physical and emotional stress, which comes from a wide array of events: stressful family reunions, overindulgence in food, sugar and alcohol, increased feelings of loneliness and isolation, financial strain, gift-giving pressure, frustrations with over-commercialism and/or too many social obligations.

Feeling a bit of both joy and stress is likely for most. If you’d like to reduce your stress this holiday season, I strongly encourage you to carve out 15-60 minutes to do these four simple steps. I guarantee if you do, you’ll enjoy a more joyful holiday season this yea

1. Know your OBSTACLES: Sit down and write out where your challenges come from. Is it stress from having to buy gifts? Is it being around all the sugar? Overdoing alcohol? Leaving holiday parties stuffed and mad at yourself? (That’s mine!) Feeling alone and sad?

KNOW your triggers. Write them out. Pretend you are preparing for an event (well, you are) and you’re doing your research to uncover what might go wrong.

2. Write out your PLAN: After completing the above, come up with your strategy for how to not let each obstacle get the best of you. Do you need to make sure to never stand near a buffet table? (For me this is my #1 plan!) Always have a glass of water in your hand to avoid being given another drink? Do you limit the number of parties you go to throughout the season to make more down time for yourself? Maybe write out a budget that you stick to ensure you don’t overspend? Do you perhaps skip certain family events to avoid the emotional strain?

Figure out specific and tangible strategies that will give you the strength to not let your obstacles get the best of you, and so you can be happy and healthy all season long.

3. Ask for HELP. After you do the two steps above, share them with a friend who can help you stick to it. And ask them if they want to do the same so you can support them too. For example, if eating too much at a party is your obstacle like it is mine, I will call my friend before the party to state out loud my goal of coming home not-having over-indulged, and then I’ll call her again after the party to announce my success.

Many shrug this step off, but I encourage you not to. Studies prove that when share your goal with someone who can support you, you dramatically raise your chances of success. You could pick your significant other, a friend or even use me! I work with patients all season long and have a great program to support you in having a healthy and happy holiday season. To inquire, email me at my address listed below.

4. Know what SUCCESS means to you. Without knowing what your goal is, it is hard to reach it. For example, I rarely suggest a goal of absolutely NO sugar. So, if you want to enjoy some but not too much, what does that look like for you? Know how you want to feel physically and emotionally in January. Know what your overall goals are and then backtrack to ensure your plan is on track with getting you there.

If you’d like to learn more about working with me, just send me an email. I’d love to help you through this process and help you make this your happiest and healthiest holiday season ever! HAPPY Holidays!

About Dr. Jody Stanislaw
Dr. Jody Stanislaw earned her doctorate degree in naturopathic medicine at Bastyr University – the premier holistic medical school in the US. She treats a wide range of today’s most common health issues using entirely natural methods. She has an entirely virtual practice which means she can work with patients located anywhere via Skype.

While most medical visits only look to the problem at hand, Dr. Stanislaw goes deeper and looks at the whole person. In her very popular E.A.S.Y. Lifestyle Transformation program, patients’ lives dramatically improve. Her simple and do-able approach allows patients to gain better nutrition habits, enhanced sleep, more energy, and also enjoy much improved emotional wellbeing.

Dr. Jody also treats conditions such as insomnia, fatigue, digestion issues, weightloss, anxiety, depression, allergies, asthma, autoimmune conditions and more, and having lived with it herself since the age of seven, she is an expert in Type 1 Diabetes.

She is also an author, as well as a dynamic and engaging speaker. To inquire about working with her, simply email your questions to: or to learn more, visit