Five Easy Ways to Boost Your Holiday Joy
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…right?!
During the holidays, we all want to feel love and joy. To walk through the streets filled with carefree happiness like we’re in a holiday movie.
But our reality doesn’t always match up, does it?
For a number of us, the holidays are stressful. Schedules are maxed-out and budgets are stretched. We try to out-do last year’s gestures. Top last year’s memories. The pressure to go home for the holidays with gifts and stories from a successful year gone by.
And then your brother asks you how your new job is going and suddenly you’re on the defence and it’s another tense turkey dinner.
Simply put, the holidays bring up complicated feelings.
So, today I offer you 5 ways to simplify your season. Try these out for the next few weeks, and I promise you’ll eliminate some stress, have more fun, and create space for extra joy.
1. Stop Wasting Time Trying to be Perfect.
Let’s not forget, even Martha Stewart went to prison... So, no one’s exactly perfect.
Perfection is rigid and strives for high walls, but love and connection ask us to be soft and malleable. This holiday, try releasing yourself from the need for fleets of Insta-worthy cookies, decorations, and adorable Christmas jammies. The best you can be is present and grounded with yourself and the people you love. Keep holiday goals realistic and, maybe even, fun :)
2. Practice Compassion.
The brilliant Liz Gilbert quotes one of her great mentors who said to her:
“If you think you’re spiritual, evolved & enlightened,
go home for Christmas and see how it goes.”
Sometimes the people we love most are the same ones that trigger our tempers, resurface past wounds and cause us to throw up our defences.
One approach to facing these difficulties is to practice compassion: try seeing each of your family members as ‘hopelessly human’ — just like you. They’re dealing with their own collection of hang ups and insecurities.
At first, it might seem like an impossible stretch. But with practice, we allow Compassion to teach us the way to healing and inner peace. To go deeper on this idea, check out what Deepak Chopra has to say.
3. Don’t Skip the Fun Stuff!
We’re so generous to others, but often short-change ourselves.
Are you guilty of skipping the stuff that makes you feel good — that brings you joy? If so, this year, make the fun stuff a priority.
I have a few favourite rituals this time of year. Walking around storefronts at Yonge & Bloor, window shopping with a coffee in-hand. Getting cozy and watching “Love Actually” in my PJs. I love the way these make me feel.
What ritual might you start, or continue for yourself this year?
4. Declutter Your Calendar.
If your calendar is out-of-control, my loving challenge to you is to go through your schedule and get honest about how each activity makes you feel. If, great — keep it! If, anxious — cancel, and create some space for yourself!
I get that some items are mandatory. When that’s the case, is there a way to re-negotiate your obligation, giving yourself more simplicity and joy? Is there someone who can help? Is there a way you can gift yourself some agency over your schedule? Just because we’re busy doesn’t mean we need to suffer, too.
5. Self Love.
An empty holiday mug serves no one! So FILL UP YOUR CUP!
Like Dickens’ Ghost of Christmas Present, fill yourself up with abundant joy.
What gifts can you give yourself over the next few weeks to feed your holiday spirit? Is it brunch with an old friend? Taking yourself to a movie in the middle of the day?
Whatever your desire, I invite you to seek it out. As an act of Self Love, check out my free workbooks. I offer you two - one to wrap-up 2018 & another to start planning your 2019. You can access them here.
My wish for you…
As we approach this holiday, give yourself permission to experience love and happiness. Release yourself from unnecessary pressure. Make space and time for all that brings you joy.