It’s time to take back the holiday season and not give into the holiday anxiety that can come our way. Every day there are good and not so good aspects. Let’s choose to magnify the good in each day, especially the holidays! Let’s make holiday anxiety a thing of the past! There are so many ways to express gratitude, even if you did it quietly to yourself in a bullet journal. But out loud is always the best option.
Dealing with holiday anxiety is a real thing that many of us suffer through but there are ways to lessen the stress and enjoy the season.
We want to REFLECT and then focus on GRATITUDE.
The word “reflect” has two distinct meanings: first, “to think deeply or thoughtfully about,” and second “to give back or show an image of.” Like a mirror reflecting light, or your own image.
Whatever is going on inside of each of us is most definitely going to reflect on how we treat others both the people we know and the people we don’t know! Holiday anxiety can turn us into someone WE don’t even know! Today my goal is to help you think deeply or thoughtfully” about some of the best holiday celebrations you’ve had previously, so you can develop a mindset and a plan for this holiday season to reflect all that joy, times TEN! Doesn’t THAT sound like fun?
Step One to Reduce Holiday Anxiety: Reflect
Next, allow yourself some time and space to “think deeply or thoughtfully” about some the best holiday celebrations or seasons you’ve had. Grab a pen and a journal or just some paper, maybe even make something festive to drink or eat, find a comfy spot and get settled. And think:
- What are some of your fondest holiday memories?
- Why? How did you feel?
- Who was involved?
- Recall the smells, sounds, visuals of that memory.
Now, answer: “How can you reflect those feelings, smells, sounds this year?”
- What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? Why?
- How do they make you feel?
- Who is involved?
- Identify the smells, tastes, sounds, visuals of those traditions.
- How can you replicate or reinvent one of those traditions this year?
Finally, ask yourself, “What are 3 things that make me relaxed and happy?” How can you include those things in your plan for this year to reflect the “relaxed and happy” in the midst of “hustle and bustle” that definitely contributes to some good old-fashioned holiday anxiety?
Step Two to Reduce Holiday Anxiety: Gratitude
Now that you’re all inspired by season’s past and have goals for this year, we’ll want to make sure that we take a few moments to focus on GRATITUDE.
By definition, gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and return kindness.
My favorite part of this definition is the word READINESS!
It’s is easy to point out the big things like I’m grateful for like my friends and family, or a house or food in my belly. The challenge comes in when we can be grateful in the midst of the hard or challenging things about our days. This may require you to change your perspective on some things.
Like all the traffic that’s about to make you late for work? Instead of being all crabby about it, accept, and be grateful for the mandatory dance party that’s about to ensue inside your car! Or the cold water in your shower yesterday? Made you really grateful for that hot shower today, right? Retrain your brain to find joy in the little things or the difficult things. Always.
Here’s a challenge: List 15 things you are grateful for today!
Bonus: List 15 things you are grateful for every day until the New Year!
The NewMind Holiday workbook has room for you to do both of these exercises, and more! Download it today! Join our NewStart Insiders group to get more ideas and motivation and inspiration all year long.
I’ll leave you with this:
Before we get too far into the holiday season, go ahead and take the time to reflect on the love and joy of prior seasons and traditions so that you can create a plan to BE a reflection of that love and joy in this year’s celebrations.