How can we be happy year round, including the holidays?
The 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year Seasons are times of festivities, decorations and social outings; but it is also a time of heightened stress and loneliness. Studies show that 71% of Americans are stressed or unhappy during the holidays.
The biggest problem people face is the myth that the holidays are supposed to be joyous and trouble-free. The first and most important step to having a truly happy holiday is to forget the holiday spirit that you believe you “should” be feeling. People often don’t acknowledge it when life starts to feel heavier at this time of year. Oftentimes, it’s because they’ve bought into the myth that holiday time is supposed to be a happy time; and if you’re not happy, then there must be something wrong with you.
If you’re one of those people feeling insecure, feeling down, you’re not crazy. And you’re not the only one.
Here are three simple tips for people who are struggling this holiday season, and for those who want to experience true happiness during the holidays.
#1: Don’t buy into the holiday myth.
Most people believe they are supposed to be happy during the holidays, and therefore don’t speak up when they are feeling unhappy or upset. If you’re one of those people feeling insecure and down, a lot of times it feels like there’s no place to turn. There’s nobody to say, “hey, you’re not crazy; you’re not the only one.”
#2: It’s ok to be different.
There is a lot of pressure at holiday time to get along with family members and other individuals; but instead of conforming to appease people, it is better to acknowledge and celebrate what is different about you. What if your difference is the greatness about you, and is what can make a valuable change in the world? To embrace your difference, ask yourself, “What is different about me that is wonderful about me?”
#3: Make aloneness a fun experience.
If you are alone over the holidays, ask yourself, “What can I do to make this the greatest holiday of my life? What can I learn about me that I have never explored before? What can I do and where can I go, that would be fun for me?”
A joyful holiday season is possible. Even if everyone around you is frantic, overwhelmed or has a strong case of the Christmas blues. Let go of expectations this holiday season. And more importantly, don’t buy into the holiday myth, or other people’s drama. It’s truly ok to be different, and if you’re going it alone, make it fun so you can have joy during this season of celebration.
P.S. For the full article in The Good Men Project publication, you can read it here.