Helpful Tips to Make The Most of Your Holiday
The holiday season can be polarizing for many people. From having high expectations for a perfect New Year’s Eve celebration to being stressed about Christmas shopping, cooking, and traveling, a lot is going on this time of year. What’s more, every person has a unique situation during the holidays. Some may become stressed about what to buy their loved ones, while others may be battling loneliness as they look forward to holidays alone.
No matter the situation you find yourself in this year, you need to take time and ensure you have a healthy mindset. If you don’t know by now, everything in life has an upside and a downside—it’s your duty to look at the situation the right way and make the most out of what’s present. Remember, your perception of things frames how you will experience them. Follow these tips to ensure you have a healthy mindset so you can enjoy your holidays as much as possible!
Reflect on What You’re Grateful For
You know I’m always talking about gratitude, and it’s for a good reason. It’s the gold standard for cultivating a healthy mindset. Practicing gratitude is a great way to get and keep your mind right. Gratitude allows you to center yourself and realize that while your life isn’t perfect, you have a lot to be happy about. This practice is one of the easiest ways to increase your happiness and care for your mental health, making it one of the best things you can do during the holiday season.
Practicing gratitude is straightforward. You simply need to take time to reflect on what you have in your life, not what you don’t have. Think about the things that are going well—you may have your health, family, friends, work, food, hobbies, pets, and much more that you can appreciate.
Spend Time with the Right People
I cannot stress how important this one is. Continuing with the last tip of appreciating what you have, holidays are all about spending time with people you love and are grateful for. If you have family or friends you’re close to; you should go out of your way to spend more time with them.
Keep in mind; the right people uplift you, appreciate and value you, they are there when you need them, honest with you and want the best for you, and want to see you happy and succeed in life. These are just a few traits of “the right people” you should have in your life. Being with people we love and care for is good for our mental health as they make us feel welcome, loved, and appreciated.
However, just as the right people provide us with irreplaceable positivity, spending time with toxic friends or family drains us. Unfortunately, the holidays can be draining and unhealthy spending time with the wrong folks. This holiday season, be mindful of who you surround yourself with to keep your mental health balanced. You are the gatekeeper for what you choose to invite into your life.
Although the holidays can be about gift-giving and showing appreciation to others, they should also be about self-care and giving yourself time to unwind, relax, and take care of your needs. Self-care is simply a practice or group of practices that promote health and wellbeing. Self-care should always be present in your daily or weekly routines. Doing anything that you enjoy and benefit your health would count as a self-care practice.
For example, you can work out, practice yoga, meditate, journal, cook a healthy meal, go for a hike, or even enjoy a warm bath. Self-care is crucial during the holiday season as this time of year is ripe for more stress than usual. Be sure to work in your favorite self-care practice each day during the holidays—ten minutes of something that relaxes you is enough to make a difference!
For many people, staying active may be a part of their self-care routine. If it’s not, be sure to include some sort of physical activity in your daily routine over the holidays. You don’t need to go to the gym or complete an hour-long hot yoga class each day. Something as simple as going for a walk outside or doing a basic stretching routine in your home counts.
Physical activity is good for us. Even ten minutes of exercise can be enough to boost your mental activity, reduce stress, and improve your overall mood—something we can all use this time of year. So be sure to keep your body moving. Nowadays, there is no excuse not to be active. There are many options from home gyms, walking the neighborhood, yardwork, to exercise videos. There’s something for everyone, so find yours.
The holiday season is a lovely time of year. We get to put up decorations and lights, cook great food, spend time with family and friends, and celebrate the ending of one year and the beginning of another! Despite all the joy, stress and disappointment are a part of the experience. Remember, if you set intentions to enjoy the holidays, avoid stress, and have a good time, you most certainly will.
When my kids were smaller, I enjoyed putting on the production of making the house warm, festive, welcoming, and full of holiday cheer. It was a bit stressful at times because I had five children, always prepared holidays dinners myself (no catering), and wanted to make it memorable for everyone. However, looking back and hearing their fond memories of the old days, reminds me of how it was all worth it.
That’s the thing about the holidays for me personally, it was about making others feel good, happy, welcomed, and loved. And the feeling you get for doing that for someone is priceless! Again, I knew going into the holidays what I had cut out for me, but I set my intentions to make it how I wanted and enjoy it and I did. You can do the same thing for yourself. Set the intention and follow it through.
Today, I still get into the holiday spirit, perhaps not much of the production I use to do. But I always remind myself what I have to be grateful for and the privilege to have positively touched so many lives. So I encourage you to do the same. Choose to focus on the good, and let your heart be open. Refuse to allow negativity and stress to set the tone for your holiday season.
Get the most out of your holidays this year and follow the above tips to care for your mental health. With a balanced mindset, you’ll be able to enjoy the holidays to the fullest.
Here’s to wishing you all a happy holiday!