If you started out feeling like Scrooge this holiday season – you’re definitely not alone. The year 2020 has been a challenging one for many of us. Although things may look a bit different this year, but there is still a lot to celebrate.
Instead of forcing your way into the holly-jolly holiday spirit, embrace a softer, more compassionate approach this year.
Think of cheer like a slow burn. There are many ways to light the spark. Keep fanning the flames, and before you know it, you’ll be feeling the warmth inside of you.
1. Bring love in
What does that mean to you? Could it start with being easier on yourself? Whatever you’re going through right now, know that it’s OK. The first step is to appreciate where you are. Making a list of what you’re grateful for
(your home, health, family, etc.) will help you cultivate the holiday spirit. Even if it’s hard to find something, the act of looking for it will start to stimulate more appreciation.
Refer back to your list and conduct gratitude check-ins throughout the day. Whenever you feel a little blue, take a moment to check in.
2. Make connections
Many individuals are feeling alone right now. And reaching out to connect with others will help both you and those close to you. Let love rule your actions and guide your thoughts.
Make a list of the people who make you smile. What can you do to make them smile? It might seem counterintuitive, but the best way to boost your mood is to give
. Do something nice for the people on your list – a video call, a card, a compliment, a little gift, a hug or even a favor. Let people know that you are thinking of them and that they matter.
3. Help others
Find ways to help others. Build holiday cheer one small act of kindness at a time. Volunteering takes the focus off your personal situation and connects you to the greater good. Helping another and seeing them light up, can’t help but brighten your day. There are so many ways to help this time of year. Collect toys, food, warm clothes and blankets, or volunteer time at a shelter or food bank
Do you know someone who needs a listening ear? Perhaps your neighbor could use someone to talk to, or simply a helping hand.
4. Spruce up your space
Surround yourself with a bright and homey environment. Put up holiday decorations
, festive pillows and blankets and slide into some soft, cozy clothes
. Create a special holiday playlist, turn up the tunes and dance your way into the holiday spirit!
You can also light scented candles
and diffuse cheerful essential oil blends
. Once your home smells like spruce, pine, fir, cinnamon, clove, wild orange, mint or rosemary, you’ll be feeling much merrier.
We also recommend binging your favorite holiday movies. Revisiting the classics will ignite old holiday memories, while watching current films will help create new ones.
5. Go out!
See the lights. Go online to find out where in your area is hosting holiday light displays. Visit by driving through or joining a walking tour to bring out your inner child. Speaking of your inner child, play in the snow! Build a snowman, make a snow angel or start a little (gentle!) snowball fight. There’s something so invigorating about getting outdoors.
6. Bake it ‘til you make it
Plant yourself in the kitchen and prepare a batch of baked goods
! Remember to make a little extra to share with loved ones.
Remember, if you’re feeling disconnected this year, use this guide as a way to step out of your comfort zone and allow yourself to embrace the holidays in all their glory.