Finding Joy in the Holidays (Rather Than Just Surviving Them!)
The holidays are a season of celebration, traditions, and gatherings with family and friends. Yet, it can often be a season that one merely tries to get through because of the many externally imposed expectations. How can this season be different? Here are a few suggestions to capture the joy and meaning of this season.
Consider what is actually life-giving. Choose the activities that increase your energy and let go of the activities that drain you. If you find joy in conversation and connection but hate all the pressure of preparing the “perfect meal” for guests, then cooking a big pot of soup may be the recipe for simplifying meal preparations and allowing you to be more present to people.
Seek wonder and playfulness. Rediscover your inner child, and find joy in the simple things, the added colors, and lights, smells of cookies baking, laughter, having a cup of coffee with a friend, sitting by the fire, watching an old holiday movie, or taking a hot bath surrounded by candles and soft music. Playfulness and wonder increase as we connect with the senses and pay attention to our surroundings.
Focus on what is meaningful rather than trendy. One component that adds to a sense of well-being is doing something meaningful for others. Taking time to serve at a soup kitchen or to volunteer at a shelter can increase a sense of gratitude for the provisions that we often take for granted, and compassion toward those who are suffering.
Slow Down. Rushing from place to place can add to our stress and cause a rise in irritability. Slowing down will bring a sense of calm and peace. Try being present right where you are, even if it’s waiting in a long line. Being a peaceful presence will not only improve your own sense of well-being, but you can bring a gift of joy to another with your smile.
We at the Mansio Center wish you a wonderful holiday season as you slow down, find meaning, seek playfulness and makes choices that bring life to you!
-by Donna Scott