Do you like so many others dread the holidays? What prevents us from celebrating this joyful time of the year? Many of us are overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of advertisements, insane commercialism, and intense expectations to find the perfect gift. Our stress levels are higher given our overeating, under-sleeping, and overspending. The season can also trigger negative emotions from loss, unresolved conflicts, and family drama. Another reason for our discontentment lies in our lost focus. We have shifted our attention away from celebrating the birth of Christ, experiencing the magic of Santa Claus, sharing goodwill towards mankind, and/or having intimate times with friends and family. We all want to capture the Christmas Spirit, but wonder how it can be done.
Sadly many of us think of the holidays as a “crazy time” that we want to get through and survive, but don’t expect to enjoy. We justify overindulging in food, alcohol, and spending to help us cope. Often we neglect our exercise routines, sleep habits, and downtime because we have too many tasks, activities, and chores to accomplish. Sometimes we just don’t feel like celebrating and have a hard time finding anything good to focus on. We spend too much time comparing ourselves to others and never feel good enough.
Holidays can be especially difficult for those of us who have lost loved ones, struggle with loneliness, grapple with physical and/or emotional health problems, and/or all of the above. We wonder how and why others around us seem so joyful. Next week I will discuss ways to capture the spirit and find joy in the season. Deciding that this holiday will be different will require a change in your mindset, actions, and feelings. Learn next week ways to create a new experience and ignite the child-like exuberance of the holidays.