The holiday season is upon us. While it can be a time of joy, undoubtedly stress levels run high for many. If you already have high stress in your life, you are especially vulnerable. Planning for holiday activities, large crowds, shopping, and traveling are common challenges. Usually a time for remembrance, reflection, and contemplation, at times there is a sense of loss or missing of loved ones. Isolation can exacerbate loneliness. Planning goals for the new year can be a daunting process, especially when one’s expectations outweigh a realistic time frame. An important approach to a more blissful year’s end is to start with a recognition of what’s important. At its best, the season evokes a sense of good will and compassion for others. Have realistic expectations, and don’t over schedule. Make connections, but find the correct balance between isolating and too much togetherness. Plan ahead, and if you’re shopping for gifts, stick to a budget. Get creative, with a holiday grab bag, and homemade gifts such as cookies, or keepsake photos. Most importantly, remember to have fun. Take a break, and enjoy simple gatherings and festivities. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, with moderate of eating, drinking, and spending behaviors. Create the holiday that you want.