As cliché as it might sound, Christmastime truly is my favorite time of year. I just love the lights, the cheer, and the sense of magic in the air during this peaceful holiday. Though all of these qualities are beautiful, I sometimes allow myself to get too caught up in the expectations of Christmas and what the holidays mean to me, and therefore I can get into an anxious, unpleasant state.
We tend to put a lot of unnecessary pressure on ourselves to make the holidays perfect. We want to create the perfect family, perfect meal, perfect gift, perfect home décor, perfect party, and perfect life. As we know, life isn’t perfect, so whenever things don’t go our way we then feel defeated, unworthy, or just a tad bit Scroogey (speaking from my own personal experience).
I have put together this guide for you to give you some tips to actually enjoy the holidays and to feel sane, peaceful, happy, joyful and fulfilled. Also, you can give yourself permission to not feel any of those things if you wish. If we can step back and look at the bigger picture these are just days in a month. There is no need for pressure or anxiety. We just have to go into it well-equipped, with an open-mind, with full awareness, and ready to take on whatever comes our way.
Here is my go-to guide for a joyful, peaceful holiday season:
Take a few moments of quiet time with yourself to start the day. Even if this time is just a few deep breaths, it will immediately start your day on the right tone. Connect with yourself before you connect with the world.
Let go of expectations. Many of us create these picture perfect ideals in our minds of how the holidays should play out. Set your intentions, but let go of the tight grip on exactly how your time unfolds.
Practice acceptance. If things aren’t going your way don’t allow yourself to get unraveled. Remember the serenity prayer:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
Have Gratitude for All You Have Now. The holidays tend to bring up many emotions, including a feeling of not having exactly what you want. Whether it’s a relationship, a job, a home, or a big one this time of year, the loss of a loved one, acknowledge your feelings and try to remember all that you have in this moment and that everything is unfolding in perfect timing. Express your gratitude for your life and all that you have right now. Amplify your gratitude.
Release Holiday Nostalgia. Many of us try to recreate memories or traditions from the past. Sometimes we even glamorize the past as a way to avoid feeling in the present. Take part in tradition, be fond of what has past, but remember to enjoy what the present has brought you. Changing things up can be fun and bring in new excitement.
Give in Love. The act of gift giving doesn’t have to be difficult or stressful. What we all truly want is love and human connection. Give the ones around you your presence, your attention, your love, and affection. A little bit of kindness and love goes a long way.
Remember That You Are Enough. With all the self-doubts, insecurities, expectations, deep-seeded desires, you still ARE enough. You don’t need to change anything about who you are. You don’t have to do anything to make people like and accept you. Remember that you don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Just be yourself, in the highest form, which is pure love.
I hope this simple guide helps you navigate your holidays with peace and ease! I wish you the most joyful, cheerful week!
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org