If you’re anything like me you probably have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with the holidays. I love the excitement, parties, decorations, rituals, music, gifts, and more. However, even these things can wear on me. And, the stress, drama, consumption, obligation, and more that often come along with this time of year are not on my list of “favorite things.”
In addition, I often feel like I’m not doing enough, not on top of my “list,” and I worry that I won’t get everything done in time to make the people in my life happy the way I want to. Can you relate?
This year, especially with all that’s going on around us in the economy and the world, what if we each made a commitment to appreciate the holiday season, have fun, and enjoy the whole experience – regardless of our circumstances or any external pressure we may feel? Appreciating the holiday season, as with anything in life, will make it much more enjoyable and much less stressful.
Here are a few things we can remember this holiday season to make things more fun and less overwhelming.
- Take Responsibility for Our Experience. It’s important that we each remember, myself included, that the stress we experience during the holiday season does not come from the holidays themselves, but from us. We’re always the creators of our own experience and the more we can remember this and live our lives from this perspective, the more empowered we are.
- Remember We’re at Choice. We always have a choice about how we engage with anything. This holiday season we can choose to be annoyed by family members, obligations, forced work gatherings, crowds, or anything else. Or, we can choose to enjoy the magic and fun of this time of year.
- Focus on What We Appreciate About the Holidays. Consciously choose to focus on the things that you appreciate about the holiday season the most. Tell the truth about this to yourself and to those around you. If at all possible, don’t participate in work or family gatherings out of obligation. But, regardless of where you are, what you do, or whom you are with – make a commitment to appreciate what’s happening, the people around you, and the many blessings in your life right now.
Even and especially when things are challenging, we always have so much to be grateful for. At this time of the year, we can take a step back, pat ourselves on the back, breathe deeply, and experience the gratitude we have for our lives, the people in it, and for ourselves. If not now, then when?
Enjoy these next few weeks…it’s up to you, as it always is. Happy Holidays!