This week, we officially enter the holiday season in the States. This can be a time of joy, togetherness, good meals, laughter, vacation, and giving. It can also be a time of stress, grief, friction, and overwhelm. The daily mood fluctuations we face during everyday life can be heightened during the holidays because of our own, personal circumstances. Below are a few ideas to help keep your cup full throughout the holiday season.
What’s working well?
You may have an image in your mind of what you want the holidays to look like and it may or may not go the way you want. Traffic in the city is a given, the store may run out of that one ingredient that you really need, and this is the season for the cold and flu bug. That’s why it’s helpful during this time of year to recognize what is working well.
Who do you get to spend your time with? Did your office have a holiday lunch? Did you choose to leave early one day and do something festive? These are a few examples of questions to ask yourself to reflect on the positive.
You decide what and who to give your energy to
If you’re stressed about conversations around the dinner table or a calendar full of obligations, know that you get to decide who and what you give your energy to. Does that mean you ignore Aunt Bethany when she starts talking politics? No, it means that you get to decide if that’s what you want to give your energy to this holiday. Does it mean you miss all the holiday parties? No, it means you have the power to choose what to attend.
I recently interviewed Speaker and Author, Sarita Maybin, for the Corporate Career Courage Show and she talked about looking at your energy like a pie – an energy pie. You decide who you give your pie to and how much you give. This is a helpful visual when you have more happening than usual.
What do you appreciate?
How often do you see the people you typically see this time of year? If it’s infrequent, do you appreciate being with them? Identifying what you appreciate can help train your brain to look for more good things. If there are traditions you enjoy, what do you like about them? Do they light you up?
Recently, I took the long way home from an event because I wanted to experience the wintery feeling of a neighborhood I used to live in. I put on holiday music and enjoyed the view as I made my way through the neighborhood.
Give it away
Giving feels good and empowers others. How can you give back this holiday season? Brainstorm a few ways on how you can dedicate time or money for a movement, charity, or cause that is meaningful to you. This can help with adding meaning to the season and connecting with a community that cares about the same things you do.
Happy Holidays to you. Here’s to keeping your cup full for a joyous season!