Let’s talk about happiness around the holidays. And I am going to warn you, I get a little chatty about this topic.
Christmas is quickly approaching and this time of year resonates different feeling and emotions for everyone. I strongly believe it should be happy; full of reflection, excitement and quality time with loved ones. As I get older I have realized that it is most important to make sure this time of year doesn’t create negative feelings in my life. I’m not saying that it ever really has, but there are people close to me that I know it does for whatever reasons. You have heard the term “holiday blues,” right? To me that is unfortunate for anyone, including the loved ones around you that know you are down.
With age, the holidays bring more responsibility to us as individuals. And somehow all the pressures of making sure the holidays are PERFECT and the same every year starts off as a wonderful tradition, but can, over time become a burden. I suppose that is only natural because we are trying to recreate the same thing every year, but lets be honest, our lives change all the time and one year can be drastically different from the year before.
So why do we put unnecessary pressure on ourselves and our family and friends? Traditions are spectacular and can bring fun memories and comfort during the holidays. But allowing ourselves to be flexible and open to change, I believe is key to keeping sane and happy from year to year.
If you are feeling stressed, anxious, down, unhappy and just down right dreading the holidays try and focus on what it is exactly creating these feelings and take the pressure off. Change your thought process and allow yourself to be happy.
Maybe you need to scale back on presents this year. If that’s the case, spend less and don’t feel bad about it. In the end whatever someone gets, they will love and be grateful for. Stay true to your personal needs.
Or a family member can’t make it to the usual get-together. Don’t get mad and act as if Christmas is ruined, support them and keep them in your thoughts (in a positive way).
You just don’t have time to bake those cookies you do every year. Don’t sweat it and stress over it. Why are you taking your happiness away over cookies? Ease up on yourself.
And maybe one of the hardest things to deal with (making everything mentioned above seem frivolous) is a family member has passed away and this is your first (second, third…) Christmas without them. There is no answer for this one other than to try and embrace the ones around you and think happy thoughts as much as you can during this tough time.
The fact is, do what YOU need to do to be happy and at peace this year. Remove yourself from thinking you HAVE to do or be anything. Take away the guilt, pressure or dread and make this Christmas your own. Maybe driving to five Christmases this year just isn’t in the cards, and that is OK. You can’t make everyone happy.
I know all of this is easier said than done, but you can make this holiday season more delightful and lighthearted for yourself, so why not, right?
Rejoice in the spirit of peace, the miracle of hope and the heart of this time of year, which is love.