The holidays are upon us and that can mean several things to many people. It can be a time of high-spirited conversations with laughter and anticipation, or it can be a time of frustration, anger or loneliness. If your holiday season did not start out the way you had hoped, take comfort in knowing that it can and will get better but it’s up to you. Here are three simple steps to putting merriment back in your month.
1 – Manage Expectations
We have all been derailed at some point in time by unrealistic expectations. It may have been a childhood dream to receive that super spectacular gift or family adventure that never took place. As adults we may have ideas on how certain gatherings will go, whether they will be delightful or draining. It only benefits us if we come to terms with the fact that whatever we expect (good or bad) will probably be our experience. Lowering expectations of others will give them the freedom of enjoying the festivities without the pressure to do or be what we expect them to be. Managing expectations without being attached to the outcome can be a very liberating experience!
2 – Be That Person
This time of the year can bring us into the company of people we don’t normally see on a weekly basis. Instead of yielding to the awkwardness of relatives we don’t really know, or those we have issues with, why not choose to be the person who crosses that bridge of distress? We have the power to impart gifts of connection, care and comfort. Sometimes all it takes is giving someone our time and attention. Asking questions is the best way to engage with others and diminish any awkwardness that may exist. We hold the power for positive change when we seek to understand rather than demand to be heard.
3 – Life is What You Make It
There are some people who go through life feeling as if stuff happens to them. A simple adjustment to consider is that things don’t happen TO us, they happen FOR us! We may have had troubled seasons of life or downright catastrophic situations occur, but even the most wounded of us all will tell you that holding on to anger and resentment is like drinking poison. Life is all about choices. We can choose to accept the past for what it was and move on into a fresh start, or we can roll around in the defeat and damages that disappointments brought our way. Sometimes when we feel like we’ve been knocked down, the best thing we can do is to get up.
Holidays can be vivacious or volatile. The season can be a trigger to open old wounds or a catalyst for change and improvement. We may miss how things used to be, feeling isolated and weary, or we can embrace the fight within and see that the path ahead is bright. No matter what this time of year tries to bring your way, know that you have choices each and every day. That in itself, is something to celebrate!