Preserving Happiness Through the Holidays

November 10, 2014

I know you’ll find lots of different tips for  getting  through the holidays.  Why just “get through?” Though the reality of stress is present during this time, these tips will take you beyond “getting through the holidays” to the experience of an authentic happiness and sense of meaning.  My hope is these ideas will challenge you to practice savoringgratitude and self-care through out your holiday. Sustainable happiness is about thriving not just surviving.

1.  Provide good fuel for your body and soul.  Make sufficient food, rest, and relaxation   your priorities so you don’t “run out of gas” when you need it most.

2.  Check and recheck your expectations of yourself.  Give yourself permission to lower your daily expectations for the sake of your well-being. Ease up on the “I’ve got to drive myself or I’ll never complete my list” mentality.  Remember, you can eliminate unnecessary stress when you also take special care to stop buying into someone else’s expectations of you.

3.  Have a sense of wonder and awe even if, initially, you need to borrow it from the face of a child or the full moon shining on new fallen snow.

4.  Don’t let the taint of commercialism rob you.  Instead, stay inspired by that which you find inspirational about the holidays.  It will be your favorite and most sustainable gift.

5.  When it comes to ideas for Christmas or Hanukkah gifts, consider giving “the gift of time” to your friends and family.  Choose something you know they would enjoy, plan it and share the time together. The gift of time can cost nothing or very little.  It can also lend itself to a wonderful splurge for a group of friends or family members. I’ve done this for years. Everyone loves the idea and it eliminates a lot of shopping time! I try to come up with ideas to stay out of the malls.  This one works 🙂

6.  As you move through your busy days, open up your eyes and take in anything that you see that is beautiful, and wonderful and sublime. Then savor it. It’s the pause that refreshes and restores…a pause for beauty, for delight! Those moments of savoring can then be extended to an awareness of having received a gift.

7.  Remain on gentle alert for opportunities that excite you and boost your energy.  Don’t give your precious emotional energy away to activities or people who drain you.  Step back from them any way you can.

8.  Take responsibility for finding your own meaning in the holidays so you will be insured of a meaningful experience.

9.  Wherever you can, when others don’t need to be considered, do things your own way.

10.  When something unexpected and important gets added to your already completely packed day of tasks and responsibilities, think of it as ” in place of” rather than “in addition to” your remaining tasks and responsibilities.

11.  Do something new this holiday season; something you’ve thought of doing but just haven’t made a priority yet.  Make it another gift to yourself!

12.  All good blessings as you  “move at the pace of guidance” through the holidays season.

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