5 Tips for a more Joyful Holiday Season

Here we are again. How did we get to the holiday season so fast?!

Many of you are in the throes of getting together with friends and family, shopping and of course some indulging. Others may be struggling with a depletion of time, energy, time and perhaps even emotional availability.

Here are some strategies for self-care and keeping up your momentum during this time. Instead of withdrawing or faking—consider the possibility of making this a memorable holiday season—without letting any of these precious days slip away!

1. Establish your intention for the rest of December.

What are your physical, emotional and spiritual goals for the coming weeks?
Visualize what it is that you want for yourself, your family, your relationships, your work, your celebrations.

Take 2-5 minutes each morning for the rest of the month visualizing yourself moving through the day with joy and in good health—knowing that you have the wherewithal to handle whatever comes up in your life. This kind of positive mental rehearsal makes it easier to navigate through your day with greater ease in real-time.

2. Manage your expectations.

Forget about going for “perfect” with shopping, decorating, the “joy” you’re supposed to feel at gatherings, the way you wish your children would behave etc. Do your best and then give yourself permission to be fully present in the moment with your moment to moment experiences.

Be realistic about the way you expect each scenario to go. Plan ahead and do your best and then let yourself go for the ride.

3. Manage family dynamics

Here is where so many of us get tripped up. Maintaining the fantasy that the family dynamics will be a certain way that they have never been is often a set up for disappointment. Here again, plan ahead and when others are not satisfied, remind yourself to have self compassion for yourself and all the work that you’ve done.

It’s also valuable to have compassion for the person who is never satisfied. Keep in mind that this lack of gratitude is generally a sign of their suffering. Being open hearted while also protecting yourself is important here.

Strong recommendation: Adopt a policy that no major family discussions regarding unresolved issues are to be processed during holiday gatherings. Instead make an agreement to have these conversations privately at another time.
Also, in many family and even friendship settings you may wish to suggest that just for this occasion that political discussions are also off limits. Guess that one sort of depends what you’re going for in terms of dynamics!

4. Make a holiday budget

Instead of overspending and setting yourself up for frustration after the fact, decide upon your spending budget in advance and stick to it. It’s so easy to fall prey to consumerism and all of the hidden promises for love, joy and connections that are attached to our purchases.

Consider doing a brief mindfulness or meditation exercise before stepping into buying mode. You might notice yourself shopping with greater creativity and wisdom—and not breaking the piggy bank!

5. Take care of yourself

Most importantly given all of the events that are likely going on during this time take the time to go inward and self nurture. Give yourself even just short periods to breathe, to think, to walk, to nap, to dance, practice yoga or whatever brings you to a place of calm will help restore and rejuvenate your energy.

The best way to energize yourself is with short, frequent breaks. You’ll have more to share with others when you pay attention to your own self care.

What do you do to rock the holiday season?

As always, I loving hearing your feedback and comments.

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