Let’s be honest, sometimes it can be hard to get in the holiday spirit. Regardless of the date on the calendar, the stresses of life can bring you down, but no one wants to be the miser the holiday party. So here are some tips to help you forget about that looming work deadline, your relationship issues and that stack of bills that keeps piling up, so you can take some time to enjoy the festivities.
Give what you can. Even if you don’t have much, it’s true what they say–it’s better to give than to receive. Find a charity or other worthy cause and donate whatever you can. If you don’t have the cash, find somewhere to donate gently used goods, perhaps a women’s shelter or children’s hospital.
Volunteer. On that note, giving your time to those in need can help put things into perspective and boost your mood as well. Find a food pantry or soup kitchen, help a local church wrap donated presents for kids, tutor or mentor a young student–whatever speaks to you, stop thinking about it and just do it. I guarantee you’ll walk away with a greater sense of purpose.
Take a day off. Take a “me day.” I know in our society, taking a day off of work to basically do nothing is sort of a taboo, but there’s a reason personal days were invented in the first place. Sometimes we all just need to slow down and take some time to rest and relax. If you’re beaten down from the daily grind, some time to refocus your mind and rejuvenate your body may be exactly what the doctor ordered.
Also read: 12 Steps to enjoy holidays with family
Pay it forward. I’m talking random acts of kindness. I love hearing real life stories about strangers helping out strangers. Get in on the action yourself and not only will you brighten someone else’s day, but you may just find that you’ve perked up yours as well. Pay for someone’s coffee or dry cleaning, let the other driver have that primo parking spot, give your seat up for that pregnant woman, and see how great it feels.
Make time for the ones you love. It’s great to give of yourself to strangers, but you may also find that reconnecting with family, whether immediate or more distant helps bring you back to your true self. Dedicate a family movie or game night or go visit your Tia whom you only see a few times a year. Even better, why not organize a dinner party for all the family to get together, enjoy each other, and reminisce about the best of times?
Get spiritual. Most major holidays are rooted in religion, and even if you don’t practice, you’ll probably find yourself moved by the spirit flowing through places of worship during times of celebration. An Easter mass, a Christmas concert or a harvest festival can all do wonders for your mood and help you remember the real reason for the season.