It's already in the midst of December and it's the unofficial knockoff of what is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. Well, let's be honest here. For most of us, it simply is not. I often find myself bursting out in tears for no reason and often the whole merry and bright feeling is completely lost on me. “Why do I get sad around The Holidays?” Not everyone goes into this ChrismasChanoeka feeling happy and jolly. The missing of loved ones, feeling alone at Christmas, or simply feeling a little meh when the holiday season takes over your Instagram and favorite radio stations and you just don't get into it. Here are 6 ways to feel happier around The Holidays. Well, at least they work for me:-)
Stop focussing on what you don't have and be grateful for what you do have
It sounds so simple, but we tend to forget this when December hits. The holiday season has become so overly commercialized that it's easy for people to lose sight of what really matters (family, friends, love, health). The whole over-the-top gifts for each other is totally out of control. Before you know it, the holidays are all stressful, and no fun. (Did you know that most gifts end up on sale pages afterward anyway) It's a messy cycle because (and yes, I'm guilty of this myself) you start thinking in terms of what you don't have, and take what you do have for granted.
Have you ever tried to be a volunteer around Christmas time? There are so many older people who would really appreciate some help or some company these days. And I can speak from experience that that will make you appreciate what you already have even more and, in the meantime, you also bring a smile to someone's face.
Stay away from people that cause you stress
This might be easier said than done if the people who give you the most stress are the people you're going home to for the holidays. Surround yourself with people who bring comfort and joy and avoid those who make you feel stressed or who are negative.
And why don't you celebrate on your own or with just good friends? Prepare your favorite meal, binge-watch your favorite movie or the new Sex & the City, and do all the things that make you feel nice. Nothing in there means that your life is miserable or that you “will die alone”. It’s a day that can be as fun and as special as you want it to be. It’s up to you how you wish to spend it.
Take a break from social media
I can't believe I'm telling you this but it's so true! Do yourself a favor and stay away from Facebook or Instagram around Christmas. Chances are, your feed will be a collage of over-the-top home decor and super happy people, sparkling trees surrounded by dozens of expensive presents. Don't compare yourself to others. No matter how you're gonna (or not) celebrate The Holidays is completely up to you. So if you don't see me on Instagram for a few days, you know why 🙂
Be present and allow yourself to feel
For me, Christmas is often a time where I miss my parents even more. I know a lot of you are going through the same. As we grow older the list of being no longer around us just gets bigger, and that hurts, especially around The Holidays.
Grief is the pain we feel because of the loss of a loved one. But it’s also a reminder of how important people are in our life. Allow yourself some space for sadness and nostalgic memories at Christmas. Not suppressing uncomfortable emotions is an act of kindness and acceptance of yourself. It's totally ok to cry over a super sweet Christmas commercial or when you hear that one special song. Be kind to yourself.
Be your own light
My family knows I used to be a little Scrooge when it came to Christmas. I don't like the obligations that come with the Holidays and I would rather escape to a quiet sunny island very far away. That was until a few years ago and I started to realize that the feeling I have for Christmas has nothing to do with others, but all with my own attitude. So instead of feeling miserable, I decided to be my own light, to spread joy, and just go for it all the way. My love often makes fun of me when I start decorating the house at the end of November. And, YES, I still cry with every silly Christmas movie but I just don't care.
This year Christmas is gonna be different, again, but I'm just grateful I'm able to fly home and see my family and friends. Instead of having a huge Christmas meal all together we just have to make the best of it, even if it means seeing each other in smaller groups. Maybe that's gonna make it even more special.
Let me know how you feel this time of the year. Are you able to celebrate Christmas like you want to or are you also having to make adjustments? Drop me a comment below and let me know!
Wishing you a wonderful and safe Christmas,