Well... believe it or not the holidays are here. 2017 has flown by in my opinion and it's hard to believe that the holidays are upon us again.
It's that time of year again.
This time of year is so much fun, full of excitement, family, friends, and giving. It can also be a very stressful time of year and you may deep down highly dread it. The other day I heard a woman say, "Can we just skip the next 2 months? Skip right over the holidays and start in January?" How sad.
But... it is true that the holidays can be a time of stress and loneliness for many which is why I thought it would be fun to think of ways to enjoy this time of year no matter your situation.
Because after all... it is the most wonderful time of the year.
Throughout the past few years I have had many experiences around the holidays which I'm sure many can relate to. I.e. spending Thanksgiving without family, having to spend lots of money on flights to get to family, fighting feelings of not really enjoying the time spent with family (the loneliness of single-dom becomes a whole lot more prevalent this time of year), and having little-to-no extra money to spend on gifts.
These are just some of the stresses and woes that can be associated with the holidays... but the thing is...
these experiences have led to some of my very favorite memories.
A Thanksgiving where I didn't have enough money to fly home turned into a day to serve the homeless and make beautiful memories with dear friends. Having very little money to spend on Christmas gifts turned into having to be very thoughtful and creative to make personal gifts from the heart. Our family absolutely cherishes the memories of these Christmas's where we've had so little, because the love that we've been able to feel for each other is so much greater than any store bought gift could ever bring (I'm tearing up just thinking about it).
So... if you can relate to any of this... I hope these simple reminders and ideas can help you feel more optimistic about these next 6 weeks and that you can create wonderful feelings and memories that will last for years to come.
Thrive EMOTIONALLY During the Holidays
- Prioritize Self-Care
- It can be overwhelming with family parties, work obligations, shopping, activities, and many things vying for your time. Make sure to take time for yourself, move your body, and eat some healthy food.
- Exercise an Attitude of Gratitude
- Sometimes it can be especially hard this time of year to see all the things we don't have or wish we had. Exercise a gratitude practice to keep your focus on all the many things you have to be grateful for (more on this coming later this week!)
- Focus on the Things You Love to Do
- Sometimes in all the hustle and bustle you just need to DO YOU. It is okay to say no, or not go to that work holiday party that will leave you drained and exhausted.
Thrive FINANCIALLY During the Holidays
- Prioritize your expenses
- Gift, Christmas cards, goodies, activities, and the list goes on and on. If you're getting overwhelmed by the amount of expenses you have during the holidays, prioritize and focus on the things that are the most important and will bring the most joy.
- Get creative with Gifts
- Some of the best gifts I've ever received have been thoughtful, homemade gifts that cost very little. Put in some thought and get creative with these types of gifts this season. Heartfelt notes, pictures of wonderful memories, handcrafted homegoods, these are the gifts I remember and love the most.
- Let Go of Perfectionism and Embrace Authenticity
- It would be nice to get gifts for every person in your office, every neighbor on your block, and every family member you can think of, but sometimes that just isn't a feasible option. Share love in other ways and embrace your authentic situation.
- Focus on the Real Meaning of the Season
- When you're stretched thin financially, remember the real reason for the season = love. Spread love through good words and deeds. Give the gift of time love.
Thrive SOCIALLY During the Holidays
- Spend Time with the People You Care About the Most
- So many people vying for your time during the holidays and if you're an introvert like me, this can get overwhelming! :) If the parties and dinners are getting to you, spend time with those that mean the most.
- If you don't live near family, the holidays can be a lonely time. Think of ways you can serve others that may be in the same situation as you. Go to a senior center and visit someone who is lonely. Volunteer at the hospital to spend time with kids who may be feeling low on holiday cheer. Serve food at the homeless shelter and look people in the eyes that have so little. I promise doing this will fill your heart with so much joy.
- Use Technology
- Technology is such a blessing to those that live far away from family. Use these options to be a part of family get-togethers and let those you care about know you are thinking about them even though they may be far away.
Remember, the real reason of the season is to share love and joy with others.
You can do this in so many ways that will bring fulfillment and joy to you no matter your situation. I would love to hear any additional ways you make this time of year the best time of the year. Comment below and spread the love!