For some of us, the holidays are truly “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. For others, not so much. Holidays tend to accentuate whatever is prevalent in your world. If things are going well, there is no family strife, and your social calendar is full, maybe it will feel like “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. On the other hand, if things aren’t going so well, you lost someone you love, you lost your job, family dysfunction runs rampant, or maybe you have moved to a new community and don’t know anyone yet, your mood may be more like The Grinch (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) during the holidays. Either way, the holidays usually involve interaction with people, especially friends and family, whether you want to see them or not.
Even if your life is currently more Grinch-like, you can still do some things to enjoy the season:
- Consider accepting invitations that come your way. Getting out and socializing usually lifts your spirits.
- Limit the amount of time you spend with people who are less than encouraging to you. Set firm boundaries around when, where, and how long you will visit with these people, even if they are family.
- Keep your expectations of the holiday in alignment with your reality. Unrealistic expectations, especially during the holidays, are common. Life is rarely like it is in the movies. Yes, there are lots of good Holiday movies, but remember they are just movies. They are not really anybody’s life.
- Set aside time each day to think about, or perhaps journal about the things you are grateful for. It’s hard to maintain a dark mood when you are feeling grateful!
- Comparison is the thief of Joy – Theodore Roosevelt. We rarely compare our lives with those less fortunate than us. We always go in the opposite direction and compare our lives to those who seem to “have it all”. A good thing to remember is that we can only see what the “have it all” people want us to see. There is no way to really know another person’s reality. People always have struggles, they just don’t always make them public.
- Avoid getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays. It’s hard to enjoy anything when every minute of your life is taken up with to-do lists and errands. Remember KISS – Keep it simple sweetie!
- Nurture yourself. Extreme self-care helps you relax, enjoy, prioritize, and avoid stress. Nourish your body with food that is good for you. Avoid overeating and overindulging in sweets or alcohol. Get adequate sleep. We need from 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night in order for us to be at our best. Schedule in downtime. We need downtime to rejuvenate and recharge. Don’t run yourself ragged. It isn’t worth it!
- Try to get a little sunshine each day. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a real thing and it affects many of us to some extent. Even though it might be overcast, take a walk. A little sunshine can make all the difference in the world. The exercise won’t hurt either.
- Practice Mindfulness. Practice being fully aware of where your body is in space at any particular time. If your emotions are running high, realize that they are just emotions and have no power over you. Accept where you are and what is going on just as is. There’s no need to worry about it, try to fix it, or try to change it. Just let go of it and in a shorter time than you think, it will just be a memory.
I hope these tips will help. These are things that I try to do for myself. It isn’t always easy, but it always makes me feel better. If you need a little help, please drop me an email. I would be honored to walk through your holiday season with you.