December hit and I feel this sense of joy deep in my heart. All the sweet memories of childhood and playing around the Christmas tree with my sisters flood back in and put me in the very best mood. And then I start remembering all the other things I love to do around the holidays! I get the honor of visiting my family, decorating our little apartment, burning my favorite candle, listening to Christmas music on repeat without feeling silly, and enjoying a cup of hot cocoa on occasion!
But, there’s no doubt that it can come with stress, anxiety and sadness too. As much as I love this season, I know that it’s not that way for everyone. Travel is stressful, holiday parties can consume the time you wanted for yourself, shopping for everyone makes you feel stretched thin instead of generous, dealing with family members who frustrate you or mourning the loss of family and friends can take it’s toll. It can feel unfair that everyone else around you is so happy when you’re feeling less than, but let this be a reminder that we’ve all got different stuff going on. No one’s life is perfect, no matter what Instagram tries to tell you.
What I’ve learned and I’m still really trying to grasp is that despite sadness, stress and anxiety, we still have a choice. You can choose to be happy and grateful, and still be sad that your grandmother isn’t here to celebrate this year. The feelings are not exclusive, and just because you feel sad about one thing does not mean you need to be sad about all things.
In this wondrous season, what I really want for each any every one of you is to feel at peace and to enjoy this season as much as you can, in your own way. I’m sharing a few tips and practices that I’ve been employing to bring me contentment and joy every single day. They’re practices and some might feel weird at first, but I promise they make a huge difference!
How to Fully Enjoy the Holiday Season
Focus on the Good
Sometimes this is easier said than done, but when it becomes a regular practice to see the good in all things, or find the silver lining, it just becomes habit. And guess what? When you focus on the good, you naturally become happier and attract more good into your life.
At the end of the day, each of us holds the power to our own feelings. You can change how you react and how you feel about a certain situation in any moment. It might be really hard, but the choice is 100% YOURS. Choose good.
Be Thankful for What You Have
In the age of Instagram and influencers, it’s easy to think you don’t have enough. Even though I’m lumped into this category, I find myself easily comparing my life, my business, my stuff to what other people have. It feels crappy, we all know that!
So, instead of looking outward for what I don’t have, I’ve been practicing putting my phone away at night and not looking at it first thing in the morning. It allows me to be present in my own life and to enjoy and appreciate all the wonderful things I do have in my life.
Whenever I have a particularly stressful day or event coming up (ie: traveling to the airport by myself with a ton of junk an a toddler), I close my eyes and visualize exactly how I want the day to go. And then, believe it’s going to happen that way. Every time I do this, I’m so much more calm, and even if things don’t happen exactly as I envisioned, it’s pretty amazing.
I did this on one of my last solo trips with Owen and stayed positive and kept visualizing on our ride there. We ended up getting to the airport 10 minutes early, Owen was calm and sweet the entire time and even got a sticker when we went through security! He played quietly the whole flight and then fell asleep an hour before we landed. It was glorious and better than I could have ever imagined!
Mindset matters people, so visualize the good and then expect it to happen!
The easiest way to keep all the things you’re grateful for, is to journal. I’ve journaled on and off for years, but I recently made it a more regular practice and I’ve been amazed at how much more calm, focused and happy I am.
I start by writing out what I’m grateful for. It changes a little bit each day, but some of the main themes are there every single day. Then, I write out what I want for my life and why, and I write these things as if they’ve already happened. For example, “I’m so happy and grateful now that we’ve bought our first home. It makes me feel settled and grounded and excited to raise my family here.”
The action isn’t as meaningful without the why, so add why you want that—it’s also very interesting to dig into your own personal whys. Maybe it’s financial security, confidence or to feel like you’ve been successful in your career.Whatever it is, include the why!
I got really out of sorts the week before Thanksgiving because of work, travel, appointments and deliveries and only worked out once. For me, I don’t feel guilty, but I know how good I feel when I’m regularly moving my body. As we move into the slower, colder season, making exercise and daily movement a priority is just as important for my health as it is for my mental state.
I’m working on a winter workout challenge that I can’t wait to share with you guys soon! If you haven’t yet, you can snag my free workout guide that includes 4 at-home workouts you can do in your living room!
Eat the Good Stuff
Is it just me or is it so easy to fall into the trap of poor eating this time of year? Between holiday parties and cold weather, all I want is carbs, heavy food and wine, haha! I’ve been making a point to start my day with lots of water, celery juice (I’m back at it!) and a green smoothie to get in a ton of nutrients first thing in the morning.
I find that if I start my morning with healthy stuff, I’m 100% more likely to continue eating healthy throughout the day. It’s definitely tougher this time of year because produce isn’t as abundant, and salads might not sound as appetizing, but it’s worth it to feel your best!
Get your Beauty Rest
I actually find that getting in bed is much easier this time of year because it gets dark here around 4pm, ha! So, I take advantage. I’ve been getting in bed around 9:30pm and reading for a bit until my eyes are droopy, usually by 10pm and then I’m out.
Instead of taking your computer or phone into bed to work or scroll, plug those things away and pull out a good old fashioned book, light a candle or diffuse some oils and get into that relaxation state!
I hope these tips help you enjoy the holiday season just a little bit more and help you to feel amazing throughout the whole season!