The holiday season is rife with excitement. Twinkling lights and our favorite holiday tunes remind us of Christmases past, evoking nostalgia and a warm sense of joy. Yet, for many of us, our to-do lists rival Santa’s long list of boys and girls, and in the whirling rush to get it all accomplished, stress can creep in and steal our joy. Follow these 5 tips to ensure that joy wins out this season.
1. Start a “miracle moments” jar.
Each day is filled with small (and sometimes big) miracles. The little one who comes to your bed for a cuddle is a miracle. The morning sun shining in your window is a miracle. The friend who offers you an encouraging word is a miracle. If we really look, we will notice that we encounter many miracles in our ordinary days. Take a moment each day to write down at least one miracle you noticed today and slip it into the jar. Encourage your family members to do the same. Pretty soon, you’ll see a jar filled with little miracles and notice that your outlook has improved, as well.
2. Tweak your routine by adding a few bursts of positivity throughout the day.
Set your phone alarm to go off at 3 or more intervals throughout the day to remind you to take a 2-5 minute break for joy. Here are some ideas to make good use of that time.
3. Create a new meaningful family tradition.
I’ve written an article called Creative Christmas Traditions that will give you a few ideas, such as making handmade ornaments, hosting a Christmas cookie decorating party, or starting a Christmas journal. Traditions encourage us to put all else aside and focus on those that matter most to us. When our relationships are strengthened and we feel connected, our joy is automatically increased.
4. Focus on relationships this holiday season.
Get in touch with someone you’ve lost touch with. Extend an olive branch to a family member or friend whom you’ve had a disagreement with. Take steps to build up your friendships. Connect with your partner and children on a deeper level through quality time together and conversations. Reach out to others who may be lonely or suffering and extend an invitation to dinner or a warm embrace.
5. Spend some time meditating on the reason for the season.
Materialism is never more present than during the holiday season. Take a time out from the hustle and bustle of shopping for everyone on your list, and do something that’s good for your spirit. Focus less on the getting and get your family involved in giving, either through volunteering, donating, or with random acts of kindness. Nourish your soul and joy will come.