The holidays are a magical time of joy and celebrations. The season reminds of what’s important and encourages making more time for family. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always respect that notion. Whether you are dealing with money problems, sick children, or marriage troubles, sometimes it can be hard to get in the holiday spirit. The stress and pain of your circumstances make it hard to put on the brave face and deck the halls. If this is you this year, here are 4 tips to get in the holiday spirit.
Remember What the Season is About
First and foremost, you have been given the amazing gift of forgiveness through Christ. That is the best gift that you could ever receive. Sometimes when you are struggling it helps to remember this beautiful truth. Secondly, if you have children it is important to remember that they don’t understand the issues going on in your life. They do notice your mood and they will definitely notice if you’re having trouble not getting the tree up this year.
Put up Your Decorations
It may be the last thing you feel like doing but it can be beneficial to force yourself to put up your decorations. Having the décor surround you can actually help to lift your mood. It can be especially beneficial to infuse comforting holiday scents that you enjoy.
To help make the process easier, get the kids involved. True, your tree probably won’t have the meticulously designed look that it has when you do it but the creativity your kids will show can also help improve your spirits. Trust me; there is something hilarious about a 7 foot tree decorated by kids less than 4 feet tall. Your kids will also love having control over such an iconic part of your holidays.
Write It Out
Instead of sending out cards this year, write heartfelt letters to friends and family. Don’t just give an update on your life and kids. Focus on the recipient and write with the express intention of giving them joy during this sometimes stressful season. Purposefully uplifting others also helps to boost your own mood. It is an excellent way to spread joy and love whilst also benefiting you.
Another way to write it out is to use a free-form journal. This is a great tool to help you work through pain, worry, and frustration that you may be feeling. There are tips for how to use this journal on the tutorial but for this specific instance I recommend mutilating the page after you have written out your feelings. Physically destroying the words you’ve written can be very cathartic and help you move on.
Take a Personal Day
Once of the best things you can do for yourself during times of stress is to take a personal day. Take a day off to do something that is completely unrelated to the holidays. If you need ideas, here are a few ideas to get you started:
- See a movie
- Read a book you’ve been putting off
- Get pampered at the spa
- Get to the gym
- Take a hike
- Check out free classes being offered in your area
The most important thing to remember is to do it alone. You may be tempted to ask a friend or your spouse but this will be most effective done on your own. We are never truly ourselves until we are alone and it is important to have some alone time to recharge.
These 4 tips to get in the holiday spirit can help you turn your holiday around but also know that there is nothing wrong with you if you are struggling this year. It is normal for the pressure of the holidays to exacerbate the issues that you are already facing. If you are having a hard time, it is okay to take the time to mope and wallow (as long as you set a specific amount of time in which to do so). Once you have, choose to fake it ‘til you make it, as they say. This can be powerful and you will wake up one morning and realize you are not faking it anymore.