How to Maintain The Holiday Spirit

Do you often find every year it’s a struggle to maintain your holiday spirit? Despite the holidays representing a joyous time, many of us feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Contracting a severe case of the “bah humbugs!” is not too difficult.

For example, Black Friday shopping madness seems to get worse every year. We have to deal with the financing and giving of gifts, party planning, party going, hosting relatives, traveling to visit family, and so on. With all of these preparations, the holidays can get to be a real drag. In fact, many of us can’t wait for the first of January to arrive.

Despite how chaotic your plans may be, you can still have an enjoyable holiday season by following these powerful strategies:

1. Adjust your attitude

Let’s face it, you can’t control other people’s attitudes, but you can control yours. Make it your firm intention to enjoy your holiday season in spite of what others may say or do.

2. Say no

Don’t spread yourself too thin. You don’t have to accept every holiday party invitation you receive. Narrow down your commitments. It’s okay to say no.

3. Get some “me” time

It’s so important to carve out time for yourself. Wake up a little earlier in the morning to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea in solitude. Go for a walk. Enjoy a luxurious bath. Go see a movie. Have a night out. Making time for yourself will help prevent you from feeling drained.

4. Feel the love

Stop periodically throughout your busy day to just bask in the love of family and friends.

5. Give to those in need

Sing carols at a local retirement community, or volunteer to serve meals at a homeless shelter. You can even go online and support the work of great non-profits. Nothing brightens the soul more than helping others, and opportunities abound to do so.

6. Stay grateful

Counting your blessings is a great way to keep everything in perspective.

7. Stop gifting out of obligation

Most of us have people we buy gifts for primarily out of a misplaced sense of obligation, or need to make an impression. We must stop this! Gift giving should only be motivated by desire, generosity, and joy. Giving out of obligation and anxiety is completely contrary to the spirit of the holidays.

8. Simplify your decorations

Avoid the hassle and expense of overly elaborate decorating. Your home or office doesn’t have to look like a winter wonderland in order to be festive. The most beautiful, elegant holiday decorations are often the most simple.

9. Surround yourself with things that put you in the holiday spirit

Watch your favorite holiday movie. Listen to Christmas music. Go see a production of The Nutcracker. Attend special services at your place of worship. Activities like these serve as excellent reminders of why we celebrate the holidays.

10. Experience the season through the eyes of your children

There is nothing quite like seeing the light in a child’s eyes during the holidays. Unlike we adults, children enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the season with wild abandon. So watch them and (re)learn.

11. Stroll down memory lane

What are your favorite holiday memories? Relive them by reminiscing with family and friends. Flip through old photo albums. Re-watch old home videos.

12. Exercise regularly

Many health and fitness experts agree, getting regular exercise is great way to naturally beat depression, relieve stress, and lift your mood. You can defeat the holiday blues not only by using the above tips, but also by focusing on what is truly important — the love of family and friends.

So, how do you safeguard your holiday spirit? Please share your experience with the community by commenting below, and Happy Holidays to you and yours!

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