As we head into the holiday season, we challenge you to really remember the “reason for the season.” The holidays are always stressful — whether it’s budgeting for gifts, having to cook family dinners, excessive traveling, dealing with black Friday shopping crowds — the list goes on and on. But, we’ve put together a list of ways you can take your holidays back! Enjoy the season rather than dreading it with these tips:
10 Ways To Make Your Holidays Suck Less
1. Start with forgiveness.
First with yourself, then with others. That thing that happened when you were 17 isn’t your fault. Your brain wasn’t even fully developed yet. The stuff you think others still hate you for – it’s over and only you are still mad about it. (Ok, yes, that one person is still mad about it, but they’re always mad about everything.) That divorce, miscarriage, fight, misunderstanding – whatever it was – let go of the mean things you think about yourself and whatever you feel is your fault – and forgive yourself for good. Then move on.
2. Limit social media scrolling.
Read a book instead. You’re NOT going to see the fights, the tears, or the loneliness on social media. It’s all going to be posts with too many family members too close for social distancing and decorated houses. Use the iPhone Screen Time app to limit your usage so you aren’t just hiding in the bathroom scrolling through everyone’s parties while you’re doing your level best to stop the spread of a virus. If you’re having a tough time, call a good friend. They’re probably not enjoying themselves as much as they’re posting and need a little solidarity.
3. Say nice things.
To yourself AND to others. While you’re sitting there judging yourself for what everyone else thinks of you and judging your family/friends for all their shit, you’re not doing anyone any favors. Find something you appreciate about yourself and the people you’re around – and say it out loud. The more nice things you say, the happier you’ll feel.
4. Buy yourself something you don’t need.
A little retail therapy never hurt anyone. A full-priced item at your favorite shop because you don’t need a dang discount to get what you want. Choose something you REALLY want (not something you need) and buy it for yourself. All expectations for what you’ll get for gifts this season will disappear and you’ll enjoy yourself. My shop has 20% off through the end of 2020, so treat yourself to something that will remind you you’re a Kickass Human. (Get 20% off with code: 2020)
5. Walk away.
Before you can’t control what you say. When the shit hits the fan (and it will), instead of getting upset about it, take a deep breath, say “I’m sorry you feel that way,” close your mouth and walk away from the situation. Period. Then text a friend who will cheer you up, go back in and keep holiday-ing. Staying in an argument or in a place where you’re feeling offended isn’t going to help you keep up the holiday spirit.
6. Do something nice for someone else.
Especially if they don’t expect it. And maybe even without them realizing it was you. Leave a sweet thank you note, gift a gift “from Santa,” send unexpected flowers, have takeout delivered to a friend, donate to your favorite organization, text a relative you haven’t talked to in years, spend quality time with humans less fortunate than you, and listen a little longer than you really want to.
7. Make a dish you love.
Food can be a big part of our happy memories. Make the green bean casserole the way you like to make it. Get up early and bake that coffee cake your dad used to make. And eat all the bacon before everyone else wakes up (just like he did.) Do what gets you into the holiday spirit by eating the things that remind you of your happy moments – even if you’ll just be Zooming with family members this year.
8. Start planning for a better 2021.
Remember how #Vision2020 only lasted 3 months? None of us had ANY idea we were about to find ourselves in a shit-uation that wouldn’t stop. Planning for the future can put us in such a better mood, especially since the possibilities are endless. Oh, and guess what?! I’ve got a workshop for that. Grab a spot in the Manifest Your Life workshop and let’s create a life that doesn’t get busted by another global something-or-other.
9. Snuggle a dog.
Don’t have one? Watch a friend’s dog while they’re working. Borrow a neighbor’s dog while they have family over. Curl up on the couch with a good book and snuggle your dog or someone else’s. It’s amazing what dog affection can do for your soul. And stay there for awhile – without anyone realizing you’re gone. Having some downtime in the midst of the craziness will help you stay sane. Also, dogs are GREAT listeners.
10. Make up a new tradition.
Every family has traditions for the holidays but where did they come from? Someone made them up. Buy everyone an ornament instead of a gift, find a new recipe that will become a staple at the holiday dinner, create a game for the kids to play, teach everyone on your Zoom call how to change their backgrounds, or let the kids stay up late watching holiday movies with the best homemade popcorn in their PJs.
Melanie Spring is an international keynote speaker, dynamic emcee, and corporate trainer. She & her Crew at Melanie Spring Productions travel the world creating branded experiences for humans like you to find your stories, build your confidence, and amplify your voices.