It is hard to believe it is already December, but I think most of us are ready to turn the corner into a new year.

My husband Graham and I are enjoying a few weeks of respite in Arizona this winter, and on our evening walks we have watched the neighbors create a variety of Christmas decor in their yards – from white twinkling lights wrapped around palm trees to blow up Santas.

Despite the turbulence of 2020, the Holiday season is in full swing. Where in past years people would be rushing around shopping at the malls and preparing for Christmas festivities and parties, this year the frenzy has been made up in other ways.

It seems to be we are pushing even harder to experience some type of Holiday normalcy. Black Friday (which is supposed to be the day after Thanksgiving) announcements showed up on my social media scroll in October already, and today it was reported that Cyber Monday hit a record $10.8 billion in online sales, according to figures from Adobe. (This was $1.5 billion more than shoppers spend just one year ago.)

Executives are working more hours than ever, and those with school-age children are attempting to work and home school adding on even more pressure. With business upheaval, economic uncertainty and a pandemic that doesn’t end, it is easy to succumb to the pressure around you, and feel the weight of anxiety rather than peace.

When times are hard it may be more difficult, but even more important to find peace. How can you do this for yourself and your family? Here are 5 ways to choose peace this season:

  1. Realize you have a choice. Know that you are 100% responsible for your own emotions and responses. Though you can’t always control your circumstances, you can choose how you respond. You can choose a positive attitude versus a negative one. You can choose love over hate. You can choose peace over strife.
  2. Reduce the pressure. Rather than working harder to “make up” for the losses of this year, take some pressure off. Give yourself permission to take a break. Help your team or family members to do the same. Believe it or not, when you are feeling the highest pressure to keep going at a record pace it is more important than ever to stop, refresh, and regroup.
  3. Remove something from your schedule. Often your stress is self-induced. When you keep saying yes to yet another commitment, you end up with a calendar that is packed with no breathing room. Just unloading a few items this month can bring you more peace.
  4. Take quiet time every day. Nothing takes off the pressure more and clears the brain than a few quiet moments to yourself. Find a space where you can be alone for 10 minutes and sit quietly, meditate or pray. I do this helpful exercise every day as part of my morning success ritual.
  5. Have faith. Remember the reason for the season. In times of uncertainty, what gives me true peace is knowing that God is in control. I can let go of my worries to the Creator who has the whole world in His hand.