Finding Joy Through the Holidays
The Holiday season can be rough on some of us, but it is possible to find joy in this time of year. We will potentially be around family, that we will be stressed, and that there will be a lot to do. So much to do, that many times we fail to find ourselves truly living in the joy of the season or in joy at all. Whether it’s because a family member passed and it’s hard to celebrate without them, or maybe finances make this time of year difficult, or just maybe you struggle with frustration, anxiety or depression. No matter your reasoning, finding joy in the holidays is possible and can renew you going into the new year. Here are a few tips to keep your holiday spirit alive:
Being Joyful doesn’t mean you have to be happy in every circumstance. It is still very possible to find joy; that deep emotion that stirs inside of your heart and soul, even when you outwardly are not at your happiest. The hardest days are sometimes the best reminders of what we have. Our focus should also be on what we have rather than dwelling on the negative and what is not available to us in the moment.
You do not have to be perfect and neither does the occasion. There is so much anxiety in trying to make everything “just right” when it’s completely unnecessary in the long run. We all live imperfect lives and our joy is not derived from a perfect moment.
Get Moving and Avoid Unhealthy Eating! Not only are we likely to put on weight from unhealthy food choices during the holidays but consuming too much sugar and processed food negatively affects our mood. There is a chemical reaction in our brains and bodies that can trigger depression and depression-like symptoms in us when we are not being good to our bodies. So, eat well during the holidays if you can, because you will feel better, probably more joyful too!
Communicate Expectations Clearly. Sometimes joy can be lost during the holidays because expectations are not communicated between spouses, families, or shared at all. Maybe it’s something fickle like giving and receiving gifts and instead of being thankful and joyful for time spent, you wind up dwelling on feeling like someone doesn’t know you because of the gift they got for you or that you are feeling inadequate because you can’t and didn’t spend as much on someone as they did on you. If you know that’s you, communicate those fears and the expectations that you have. You would much rather keep your joy than get disappointed over something trivial.
Surround yourself with Happy People! It seems too simple. But if the people you are around annoy you, are frustrating, and don’t lift you up to encourage you, then you do not have to be around them. This goes for family as well. Remember that it’s not about them, it’s about your well-being. You don’t have to make excuses either. The best way to find joy in the holidays or any day is to find positivity and happy people to surround yourself with and to reject any negativity that might come your way.
Focus on the Good! It can be really hard when we are juggling a full plate of life and all it throws at us. But in the end, we have beautiful families, can marvel at the beautiful world, and we are alive to experience both the good and the bad.