It can be tough to find joy this holiday season – especially when many of us have a picture in our heads that everyone else seems to be beaming, red-cheeked, bursting with holiday spirit – and yet, you feel exhausted. So, many of us would agree that it could be hard to find joy this holiday season. So, if the family gatherings, the endless parties, and the shopping get you down, you’re hardly alone. But here’s something to cheer you up and to help you find joy with five easy tricks this holiday season.
Five Tricks How to Find Joy This Holiday Season.
1) Be Present with Attitude of Friendliness and Joy
Many times thought the day, I find myself plotting, worrying, scheming, and in other words, not being present. So, I gently ask myself, what is it like to be right now? How does it feel to breathe in the present moment? And, through the day, I follow my magnificent ancient secret mantra that you can easily steal and incorporate this holiday season to cultivate more joy:
- When I eat, I focus on eating.
- When I cut veggies, I concentrate on cutting veggies.
- When you wash your hands, focus on washing your hands.
- In conversation, I commit to listening – and not looking at my phone and not thinking of what to say next.
- I clap my palms to come back to nowness.
- When I walk my puppy Rocky, I breathe with each step and focus on the trail and magnificent outdoors instead of getting into the virtual world of my head.
A yoga practice can help us find joy this holiday season. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to spend hours meditating and contorting your body. Instead, a five-minute simple routine can do the trick. Not to mention all the things you probably enjoyed as a kid, like dancing, reading, painting, and gardening.
2) Get More Sleep
It is hard to find joy this holiday season when we feel groggy. Perhaps, we can skip a late-night show or give up some Facebook time because sleep is not only essential to our health and wellbeing; we lose focus, become irritable, and can’t function in the world if we don’t get enough sleep. Personally, I practice a digital sunset – I shut down all my electronic devices at about two hours before bed. Also, I wear blue-light blockers if I must use light or really want to watch a show.
So, take an inventory. What can you say “no to” to gain more hours of sleep to cultivate joy this holiday season?
3) Have your Cake and Eat it Too!
I often heard from one of my favorite teachers, Tara Brach, about the second arrow. First, we do something that we perceive as “bad” (first arrow) followed by a guilt trip (second arrow). And beating ourselves up mainly after consuming that cake or, even worse, as we are consuming it, never helps anyone. So, either don’t eat the cake or eat it and enjoy it!
Find joy this holiday season by allowing yourself to indulge a bit.
- Eat with conscience and awareness; make it a meditative practice.
- Pause before you indulge.
- Say I love you and you’d be good for me, dear cake!
- Eat slowly, close your eyes and take in the joy.
- Try to leave a bit on the plate.
- Next, forget about it and come back to eating a healthy balanced diet.
4) Take a Bath
Since ancient times, bathing in water has been equated with good mental and physical health.
- Not to mention, it is an instant mood booster to find joy this holiday season.
- Up it a notch by listing and singing along to your favorite tunes.
5) Find Your Inner Child
One of my favorite sayings is: It is never too late to have a happy childhood!
Honestly, I feel like I missed upon my younger years, but I am catching up by incorporating plenty of play, especially during the holiday season.
- You can be fun, fearless, adventurous, and silly. The inner child is a part of you who wants to dance, play in the snow, and believe in magic!
- Remember: We do not stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.
When cultivating joy this holiday season, consider creating new and healthy traditions if you feel the “traditional” holiday experience is dragging you down. Because 1) life is short, 2) there is no right or wrong 3) you are the captain in that ship. There are many ways to conduct your life. Whether you are with your family or have decided not to observe the holiday – it is your choice.