Getting through the Holidays with Grace with 5 Tips for Staying Positive
As the holiday season approaches and the air is filled with anticipation of joyful festivities, for many, getting through the holidays can feel stressful.
This time of the year can often bring up an extra layer of emotions and pressure. Whether it’s the pressure to meet expectations, or coping with a loss, or the hustle and bustle of seasonal preparations, staying positive during the holidays can be a challenge.
“Of all the things that really and truly matter, working more efficiently and getting more done, is not one of them.” – Mike Dooley
Since getting through the holidays with as much grace and ease as possible, and as cultivating as much enjoyment as we can pack in, I thought it would be helpful to explore five tips to help you navigate this season staying positive.
1. Acknowledge Your Feelings
It’s important to recognize that feeling stressed during the holidays is a sentiment shared by many. Acknowledge your emotions, whether it’s stress, sadness, or a mix of both. Your feelings are valid and understanding them is the first step towards managing them. By giving yourself permission to feel, you open the door to self-compassion.
One way that I find helpful to acknowledge feelings is through journaling. It doesn’t have to be complicated – just grab a notebook and dump out all your thoughts, fears, and worries onto the paper. Follow that with a few sentences describing in as much detail as you can, how you want to feel instead. Often, just the exercise of writing through these thoughts can shift your perspective and uplift your mood.
2. Simplify Your Celebrations
The holidays often come with a checklist of expectations, from decorating the perfect tree to hosting flawless gatherings. However, it’s crucial to remember that the heart of the holidays lies in moments of joy, not in the perfection of the festivities. Simplify your celebrations by focusing on what truly matters to you and your loved ones.
“Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is.” – Mandy Hale
Consider getting through the holidays with the most ease by scaling back on the elaborate plans and embracing the beauty of simplicity and of feeling present in the moment. A few years from now, no one will remember your magazine-worthy table setting – but they will remember how loved you made them feel.
3. Establish Boundaries
Amidst the holiday chaos, setting boundaries becomes an act of self-love. Be realistic about what you can manage, both in terms of time and energy. Politely decline invitations or commitments that feel overwhelming. By establishing boundaries, you create space for moments of relaxation and genuine connection. Remember, saying ‘no’ when needed is a powerful act of self-care.
And if you’re going through a hard time in your personal life right now – such as grieving a loss, or going through a divorce, or dealing with financial pressures – it’s ok to set boundaries about needing to cut back on gatherings and festivities to protect your emotions, your checkbook, and/or your mental health.
4. Practice Self-Care
Stress has a way of sneaking up when self-care takes a backseat. Make a commitment to prioritize your well-being during the holiday season. This could be as simple as taking short breaks for a walk, enjoying a warm cup of tea, or indulging in a favorite book.
“For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.” – Lily Tomlin
Ensure you get enough rest, nourishing your body and mind. Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s a cornerstone of resilience and of nurturing a strong, healthy mindset.
5. Create Meaningful (New) Traditions
Amidst the commercial glitz of the holidays, consider focusing on creating meaningful traditions that resonate with your values. Whether it’s volunteering for a cause you care about, crafting handmade gifts, or simply spending quality time with loved ones, these traditions anchor you in the true spirit of the season. Meaningful rituals not only bring joy but also serve as reminders of the essence of the holidays.
It’s your choice whether you decide to create new traditions. From year to year, a lot can happen in a family making the holidays feel quite a bit different. There’s a special beauty in deciding it’s time to create a few new traditions for yourself or for your family. Change is inevitable for all of us. Embrace it and find ways to celebrate the changes with an open heart full of grace and with less anxiety.
“A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.” – Aesop
Navigating the holiday season under stress or difficult emotions is a challenge, but with the right mindset and strategies, it’s possible to find moments of joy and positivity.
Acknowledge your feelings, simplify your celebrations, establish boundaries, practice self-care, and create meaningful traditions.
“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Remember, the holiday season is about connection, gratitude, and love. By approaching it with compassion for yourself and those around you, you can transform stress into an opportunity for growth and genuine festive cheer.
May your holidays be filled with warmth, understanding, and the beauty of moments well spent.
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