Holiday Season: How To Rediscover Your Joy
As the holiday season approaches, it is important to remember that the holidays can be a time of joy, but also a time of stress. It is important to understand how you feel about the holiday season and what your expectations are for this time of year. Are you in need of more balance or do you prefer to focus on specific traditions? Do you have family obligations that need attention? Is there an event or milestone coming up that needs planning? The answers to these questions will help guide how well prepared we are as individuals when it comes time to celebrate this festive season with our families and friends.
The holidays should focus on creating moments that bring us together with those who mean most in our lives. Whether it’s celebrating religious traditions together or simply spending quality time with loved ones over delicious food and drinks – everything should be centered around creating positive experiences for all involved during this special time in our lives….
Break out of your usual routine.
If you are anything like me, you have a few go-to activities that you do every year. I am always baking cookies for the holidays and then making sure to eat at least one of them before I take them to someone else’s house. Every year I also go to see the same Christmas movie at least 7 times (I’m counting down until December 22nd!).
I love doing these things but sometimes it’s nice to break out of your routine and try something new. This is especially true during the holiday season when it seems like there are so many things on our plates already: work deadlines, family events, shopping lists…the list goes on forever! It can be tough finding time for yourself but it’s important because when we put ourselves first we often end up feeling better about everything else in our lives too!
Here are some ideas for activities that might help:
Simplify, simplify, simplify.
It’s that time of year again: the holiday season. You know it well, whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas or Festivus.
And as much as we love the festive traditions and cozy family time, there are some aspects of this season that can cause us stress.
So how do we protect ourselves from feeling overwhelmed? By simplifying our lives! I’m not talking about going on a juice cleanse or moving into a cabin in the woods (although if you’ve got the patience for either one of those things, great). I’m talking about taking small steps toward making your life less complicated so that when December rolls around again next year, you’ll be ready to embrace it with open arms—and maybe even just a little excitement instead of dread. The holidays can be wonderful if you let them be; here’s how to get there:
Create joyful traditions.
When it comes to traditions, there’s a lot of pressure to keep up with the Joneses or even the Kardashians. But if you’re trying to rediscover your joy this holiday season and make some new memories, try creating traditions that are meaningful to you. Don’t worry about what other people are doing or what you used to do—it’s all about finding something that works for you and sticking with it! Don’t feel like you have to spend a ton of money on gifts or throw parties just because everyone else is doing it either. Whatever makes your heart light up when Christmas rolls around is worth doing—even if it means staying in bed watching Netflix all day!
If things start getting stressful, take time out every day (or every few hours) to do something fun and relaxing. Whether it’s reading a book by yourself at home or heading out into nature with friends or family members, finding ways get outside will help clear your head and recharge so that whatever comes next feels easier than ever before!
There’s a reason why people spend so much time outdoors. It’s because being outside is the best way to get away from stress, and rediscover your joy. The weather may be cold right now, but it won’t always be this way. So go for a walk! Go for a run! Take your bike out of storage and ride it around the neighborhood! Go to the park, or go visit some friends at their favorite beach spot—the possibilities are endless!
Indulge and savor.
The holiday season is a time of all things good, but it can also be a time of overindulgence and overstimulation. For those who have the ability to take time away from the hustle and bustle, spending some quiet time alone is an excellent way to begin rediscovering joy. If you are feeling particularly stressed out, try immersing yourself in something that brings you pleasure:
Take your favorite beverage with you as you walk through nature or around town—go somewhere beautiful and enjoy being outdoors! Take your coffee/tea/wine/beer/chocolate with you on your walk!
Go ahead, indulge yourself. If there’s something special that makes you happy (e.g., chocolate), let yourself have it!
Practice gratitude daily.
You may have heard that practicing gratitude can make you happier. But how? It’s simple: when you focus on the positive, you’re less likely to notice what’s wrong with your life. And when you do take note of a problem, it’ll be easier to accept its existence because it won’t seem as big a deal compared to all the other things in your life that are going well.
You’ll also be more present in your daily life—it’s easy for us humans to get wrapped up in our own heads and forget about what’s happening around us if we aren’t intentional about paying attention. By focusing on what makes us happy and feeling grateful for those things, we’re able to bring ourselves back into the now where there are plenty of great things going on!
Let go of what doesn’t serve you.
Once you’ve let go of all the things that don’t serve you, it’s time to rebuild.
After the holidays, if you start to feel weighed down or frustrated by what has come and gone, take a step back and see where you can improve your life for next year. Did this year leave any lessons for next time around? If so, write them down so that they’re in front of your eyes every day as a reminder of what went wrong—and how it could’ve been done differently.
Didn’t learn anything from this holiday season? Then maybe it’s time to consider some changes in your life. Are there certain people who are draining your energy or not supporting your goals? What about activities that don’t make you happy anymore? Or perhaps there are things holding back a project or job opportunity from happening—things like debt or fear of failure—and these obstacles need to be cleared away before any real progress can be made on achieving those dreams.
Volunteer your time in service to others.
In addition to being a great way to spend time with family, volunteering is good for your health. Studies have shown that more than just feeling good about yourself, volunteering can lead to lower blood pressure, better sleep quality and improved moods. And if you’re looking for something different than the usual post office or soup kitchen volunteer opportunities? There are plenty of options out there — from helping out at an animal shelter (think dogs and cats) or cat cafe (think cats only) or even becoming a mentor for an aspiring entrepreneur – there’s no shortage of ways to get involved in your community this holiday season!
With these tips and tricks, you can make the holidays a stress-free time for everyone in your family. And remember: if you need to take a break from the hustle and bustle, don’t feel guilty. Use this time as an opportunity to reconnect with yourself—and maybe even rediscover some of that old joy. If you or someone you know needs assistance in finding joy during the holidays, please don’t hesitate to contact Revive Therapeutic Services.
Abby Antwi, LCSW, Co-Owner of Revive Therapeutic Services