I don’t know about you, but there is a very big dialectic that occurs for me when the holidays come around every year. The dialectic is one of like and dislike. Don’t get me wrong, I love tradition, shopping, family, friends, and parties, and at the same time all of those things can be extremely overwhelming. The holidays are busy and wrought with expectations that can be difficult to attain. I have found these few tips to be very helpful when navigating the holidays.Say no sometimes. When I try to do everything, I can become overwhelmed and resentful. I find that the more I allow myself to opt out of events or even stay for a shortened period of time, I end up enjoying the holidays much more.Plan ahead for uncomfortable situations. We call this “coping ahead” in DBT and what a wonderful skill it is! The idea behind coping ahead is that we need to expect that we will be triggered by certain people and places, and we take charge by creating a plan ahead of time that helps to tolerate these triggers more effectively. For instance, maybe you have a code word or signal with one of your family members to intervene in a stressful conversation. Another idea would be to mindfully engage in a task that is helpful to others. Not only will that get your mind off of the trigger, it can also make you feel good about yourself for helping and contributing to others (another DBT skill!).Write a gratitude list daily. It is important to keep things in perspective, especially during a time that is so busy. I find that if I only focus on how crowded the stores are, how annoying my family members are, and how much I despise going to certain holiday functions that I forget the season is about faith and love. In writing a gratitude list, I still have those thoughts about how annoying certain aspects of the holidays are, and I am able to keep things in perspective instead of becoming overwhelmed with frustrations.