If you celebrate Christmas -- happy Christmas Eve eve! Right now you probably have a lot to get done before the big day, and, if you're anything like most people, you're probably stressing out about presents and family and things left on your To Do list. It can be joyous -- and overwhelming -- couple of days, so here are a few things to keep in mind as the holiday draws near...
10 Tips for Keeping the Happy in Your Holidays
1. Make the best of whatever situation you're in. I know this can be particularly hard if you're not at all interested in doing some of the required holiday activities, but, believe me, making the best of a situation is only going to help you. When it comes to the holidays, there are things you have to do sometimes -- and making the best of them is only going to make them easier to get through.
2. See the good in the people around you. Oddly enough, spending time with the people you love the most can be pretty hard sometimes. It's tempting to see their faults, to recall the things they may have done that have hurt you in the past. But this holiday, don't do those things. Instead, shun all negative thought and focus on the good things these people bring to your life. Be positive.
3. Know that everything (and everyone) doesn't have to be perfect. We typically have high expectations for holidays. We build them up almost all year long and suddenly they arrive and don't always live up to our ultra-high expectations. This year, lower your expectations to a reasonable level and remind yourself that this is just Christmas. It doesn't have to be perfect. You don't have to be perfect. And, yeah, other people don't have to be perfect either.
4. Stay in the moment to avoid unnecessary stress. When you start thinking about the past or the future, that's when you can really get caught up in stress. Christmas should be, at the very least, a day you can focus on the now and stop worrying about the past year or the year to come. Hard as it might be, make a commitment to spend Christmas day in the present moment. Focus on the now.
5. Help others out -- and ask for help when you need it. Help is one of those tricky things. We all need it at times, but too often we don't remember to offer it or ask for it. Even though it might be hard to keep your mind, try your best to ask others if they need help and ask yourself if you might need help from others. It can be tough to ask for it sometimes, but it will make your holiday a lot happier if you do!
6. Take it one day, hour, minute at a time. Remember that Christmas is only a single day of the year and, even when it's tough, you can certainly get through it. If you're faced with any troublesome situations, remind yourself that you can get through the next minute, the next hour, the next day. Stress levels may be high, but try to keep everything in perspective and stay calm.
7. Remember that you are more than one day of the year. People that put a lot of emphasis on the holidays often have a hard time remembering that your worth is much more than a single day or event. The day doesn't have to perfect and neither do you. You are so many things and it's essential to remind yourself that the outcome of one day does not represent your entire worth as a person. Remember: it's just one day.
8. Put yourself in positive situations (and avoid negative ones). Though you may not be able to choose exactly how you spend Christmas, you often have a choice when it comes to what specific situations you put yourself in. If you know a certain person drives you nuts, do what you can to stay away from him or her. And, whenever you can, find the people that inspire you and make you feel great and spend time with those individuals.
9. Don't be afraid to say, "No!" With the holidays often comes pressure. Pressure to be there or do that. Pressure to act a certain way or be willing to go with the flow. Though I'd certainly advise doing what you can to make the most of any situation you find yourself in, know that it's okay to say "no" when you need to. If something makes you unhappy or uncomfortable, don't do it. Some might call you a Scrooge, but if you want to be happy this holiday, you have to remain true to yourself.
10. Celebrate the little things (because, really, those are the big things). I'm a big fan of looking at the big picture and seeing the holiday celebrated as a whole, but one of the best pieces of advice I can offer you this holiday season is this: celebrate the little things. These are the things that might not seem like a big deal, but they are the things you will end up remembering when the day is over. Pay attention and all of those little things will add up to one big celebration.
Even though Christmastime is supposed to be one the greatest and most festive days of the year, it's often very difficult for a lot of people to get through. Hopefully these happiness tips will help you to stay positive and present all day long. My advice? If you think you're going to be battling a particularly troubling holiday, print these tips out and keep them with you for extra inspiration. Or, better yet, print them out and share them with everyone at your holiday event.
As always thank you for reading Positively Present. I hope these words inspire you to live a more positive, more present life. For those of you who celebrate the holiday, have a very merry Christmas! And for those of you who don't -- have a very merry weekend!