"It's the most wonderful time of the year." That's a line from a classic tune that seems to be everywhere during this holiday season. For many folks, it truly is. They fully revel in this season with all of its celebrations. They enjoy it immensely. If that is the case for you, you may want to pass this writing on to someone who has the opposite experience.
Sometimes, the “season of the lights” is not so bright, and can be challenging. The season may remind them of loved ones or friends who have passed on. Get-togethers with certain family members, traveling, decorating, cooking, shopping, and more cause the reason for the season to get lost in the shuffle. It turns out to be more stressful than enjoyable.
Here are some things we all can do to keep our mental and emotional balance, and to remain centered as well as upbeat through the end of the year:
Focus on being and less doing
A fundamental way to make the holiday season enjoyable is to focus on being rather than doing. One way to bolster this energy of being is to make a list of 7 things you are grateful for in your life. Then every morning throughout the month, review them. You will notice that this simple activity will positively influence your emotions.
Slow it down
Life has its challenges. In addition, the collective angst the world is experiencing can induce a heightened sense of anxiety and chaos. When we find ourselves moving at an overly rapid pace, we can choose to stop, take a timeout. By going into the silence for just three minutes, it will help us get back in balance.
Take advantage of the most powerful two-letter word
In the absolute, time is an illusion. However, we all fall under its tyranny. There are only so many hours in the day. It's okay to say " no " with all the extra commitments that come across our plate during the holidays. It can be said diplomatically, such as, "Under most circumstances, I would love to help; unfortunately, I have several previously scheduled commitments. I'll have to pass this time. However, I'd love to help out another time."
Sometimes we have overly high expectations of what the holidays are supposed to be when we compare ourselves to others. Instead, we can set our standards and stop paying attention to, and being influenced by, the advertisements we see. Relieve the pressure. Relax and make it fun.
Be okay with your feelings
To help take a load off and feel better about the holidays, permit yourself to feel the way you do. It's all right. Nothing is wrong with that. Some folks are challenged by change, or the holidays are not their cup of tea. So, we don't beat ourselves up; that only makes it worse. Accept the way you feel. Let it be. Eventually, it lets you be.
Focus on yourself
If things seem to be overwhelming, take a break. Do something you enjoy, and just for a while, drop everything else. Take a 30-minute walk, go to the park, read an engaging book, work on next year's plans, meditate, or do whatever it takes. Take your mind off the hustle and bustle of the holidays, and when you come back, you’ll have a fresh perspective.
Ask for support
You don't have to do everything by your lonesome during the holiday season. You can ask for help from your partner, relatives, or friends to shop, decorate, take out the trash, walk the dog, etc. No need to be a superhero. Others in your orbit will gladly support you.
So, if you find yourself having a challenging time, getting a bit stressed out, or anxious this time of the year, know this too shall pass. In the meantime, there are many things we can do to help us successfully navigate the holiday season. The most important is to remember why it exists in the first place. We realize it is the most wonderful time of the year when we do.
Peace and Blessings,