Holidays are filled with so much activity we often neglect to enjoy moments with family and friends. According to Pew Research, about nine-in-ten Americans (92%) and nearly all Christians (96%)… celebrate Christmas. This is no surprise… but… a majority (81%) of non-Christians in the US celebrate Christmas. Further, the greeting… more Americans (42%) prefer is ‘Merry Christmas,’ over ‘Happy Holidays’ (12%), with (46%) stating, it doesn’t matter.
Here are a few suggestions, many from Johns Hopkins Medicine, to create a peaceful and joy-filled holiday:
Reflect on what is important. Thinking about what you want for this holiday season will help you choose more intentionally about who… and how you… will spend the time. It’s hard to have a meaningful holiday if you don’t determine ahead of time what will give it meaning.
Make a plan. Try to plan at least one activity that is important to you. Consider volunteer activities. Making a plan well in advance can give you something to look forward to and provide a greater sense of control.
Realize the holiday season is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself. While extra social gatherings can be exciting, you don’t want to compromise your physical or mental health by doing too much. Acknowledge you cannot do everything for everyone. Practice saying “no” without guilt.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Make good food choices and relax to restore energy. Your endurance will be better if you can stick to your daily routine as much as possible, including exercise.
Manage your spending. It’s easy to feel the pressure of consumerism during the holidays. Decrease the financial stress by making and sticking to a budget. Thoughtfulness need not come with a hefty price tag.
Monitor alcohol. It’s easy to overindulge in alcohol during the holidays. Moderation is key so that your balance and emotional well-being are not negatively impacted.
Revel in connectedness. Live in the moment, be present, and enjoy the company. Spending time with people we feel connected to can increase the happiness hormone, serotonin.
Cheers to a pleasurable holiday season!
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you are the pilot!” – Michael Altshuler
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