It’s that time of year again. That time that is supposed to be filled with love, joy, peace & giving, yet all too often brings about moments of chaos, disappointment, awkward conversations and even for some, an emotional rollercoaster. Without even realizing it we may have a set of mental holiday traditions. We picture in our heads the way we want each gathering, interaction & moment to go. With such standards, it can be disappointing when things don’t go exactly as hoped. Here are 3 ways to break those mental traditions and to go about the Holidays differently this year.
1: Find peace amidst the chaos
With all the lights, gifts, sales, holiday decor, large crowds and never-ending Christmas songs on the radio, it can be difficult to find the peace amidst it all. We may hear that little voice in the back of our heads telling us what we should be doing, thinking and feeling. It can feel a lot less like peace and lot more like chaos. If we can tune our radios just a bit though, we may hear the song “The First Noel.” Just like Christmas, the word Noel has many meanings, though the meaning of “joy” may be most fitting. The holidays should bring about joy to us and to those around us. Whatever it is you are doing or whoever you’re interacting with, may it bring about joy to you and to those around you.
2: Focus on what really matters
One of the most simple and fulfilling ways to go about the holidays this year is to focus on those things that really matter. Look at what is on your receipts when you get home and ask yourself if those things are really contributing to what really matter to you. How about when your mind is wandering in thought before you fall asleep; is what you are thinking about really what matters deeply to you? How about those conversations you are having with your friend, family member or neighbor, are they really about what truly matter? It can bring a huge relief when you let go of those trivial things and hold on to what truly does matter.
3. Give yourself a break
The holiday season is about giving after all, right? We can set such high exceptions not only for others, but for ourselves. We can be so critical of how we measure up to others and to our own expectations. If this season we could give ourselves some grace, it just might be one the most peaceful holidays yet. So as we listen, understand, and give to others this holiday season, may we too give to ourselves the gift of grace that has already been given to us. 🙂