It happens. We can be rolling along in all of our parties, gift wrapping, cookie baking, and general merry-making when all of a sudden WHAM. We are rolling around in a wave of holiday sadness. Where did that that EVEN come from? Perhaps we are missing a loved one, or dealing with a difficult situation in the midst of the celebrations, or are just worn out and ready for it to end. Either way, the holiday sadness is real. And you want it to really go away. Inside the NewStart Holiday Handbook, we dedicate three days highlighting 3 practical tips to help you overcome holiday sadness.
Try one, two or all three, I know that these are powerful ways to keep that unwanted holiday sadness away and keep your holidays happy.
The root of contentment is satisfaction, meaning, we have learned to be happy despite our circumstances or challenges. Yet in our consumer-driven culture where discontent is promoted and material gratification is encouraged, learning to be content can be very difficult. It gets multiplied by 10 during the holiday season. I’m hoping to circle you around to the idea that we can all find contentment during the holidays … even if we wish our gift budget was larger, or our living space was fancier, or our Christmas tree taller, or miles separate us from friends and family, or whatever it is for you.
How do we get there? To a contented place?
First: go back to the beginning and practice gratitude. Yup. That act of identifying the things, people, places, situations for which you are most grateful. Soak in that feeling of gratitude, that feeling of completeness during true appreciation for those things, people, places, situations. It’s always amazing to me how my feeling of lack can just fall away when I do a gratitude check.
Next: Take control of your emotions. Decide to be happy. A person who lacks contentment in their life will often engage in “when and then thinking” – “When I get that car, or get engaged, or lose 25 pounds, THEN I will be happy.” Guess what? You will be the same person on the inside who is now engaged, driving a new car, or 25 pounds lighter. Remember, your happiness is not reliant on the acquisition of any possession. Your happiness is based solely on your decision to be happy – and this may be one of the most important life lessons you can ever learn.
Third: Do NOT compare yourself to others. There will always be people who “appear” to be better off than you and seemingly living the perfect life.
We always compare the worst of what we know about ourselves
to the best assumptions that we make about others.
Their life is never as perfect as your mind makes it out to be. You are unique and special and have a life worth desiring! If you find it difficult to work through the comparison trap, take some time to help others. Taking the focus off of you and putting it onto someone else in a loving and caring way often snaps us right into a cycle of appreciation and gratitude. Go ahead and be a blessing to someone and experience the contentment that comes along with giving of yourself to help someone else. It’s the best!
Celebrate. No Matter What!
The word celebrate means to acknowledge a significant or happy day or event with a social gathering or enjoyable activity.
The key word here is ACKNOWLEDGE!!
You are an incredible human being. There is only one you in this world and there will never be another like you. You are unique and perfect and are so very necessary in this world. Just the way you are. And for that, you should celebrate.
At a time where it is so easy to point out the flaws in ourselves,
let’s make time to celebrate our daily “wins.”
Maybe you had some goals that you set last year that your reach? Perhaps you started to make better choices nutritionally? Did you save some money, or take a trip, pay off some debt, start reading, exercising, or make time to take a bubble bath once a week?
Keep in mind that “surviving” counts! Maybe you suffered through a tremendous loss or moved or your husband or wife is deployed or you had triplets?! But you lived through it and came out on the other side. Maybe you are a new mama and a day without being barfed on is a win! I don’t know, but what I do know, is that these wins are all around us, and the more we can acknowledge them and celebrate than accordingly, the better we feel about ourselves!!
An exercise worth doing, right now, is to identify FIVE wins worthy of celebrating this year. Big or small!
Laughter Soothes the Soul.
It’s easy to get caught up in a sudden occurrence of holiday sadness. At the same time, it’s important to remember that a good belly laugh goes a long way, and is actually good for you physically and emotionally.
Just a few proven benefits of laughter:
- Promotes relaxation, which can last 45 minutes after a good laugh.
- Improves your mood because laughing releases endorphins.
- It shifts your perspective; sometimes it’s laugh or cry, right? Try and see the absurdities in a situation, rather than the irritants. Try to laugh at yourself and situations, and not take everything quite so seriously.
But, let’s get serious about laughter for a minute…let’s not be mean-spirited with our laughter, towards ourselves or others. Seek out those people and activities that make you laugh. If you cannot be with your hilarious friends, perhaps call facetime or skype. Try and make the time, even for 5 minutes! And by all means, turn off the news for a hot minute, and watch a funny animal video on YouTube. Or watch funny movies, Caddyshack never fails to make me laugh. EVER! Take time to play games, like Mad Libs, or Head’s Up. Something short and distracting.
Holiday sadness does not need to have the last laugh this holiday season. Recognize what’s happening and be intentional about how you are going to get out of it. You are in the driver’s seat! The NewStart community is ready for you! Not only can you download the NewMind Holiday Handbook, but you can join our Insiders Facebook group and be part of a community of like-minded people. Join us today! We’d love to have you!