The holidays are a dreamy landscape for extroverts: hosting, toasting and making merry. It’s like rocket fuel for social butterflies.
But what if you are an under-the radar-introvert, like me? What if you find shopping and hosting and parties stressful? How can you have happy holidays when you dread certain company who are hard to avoid?
Whether you tend to embrace or resist the holiday season, the added strain on time and finances can make it challenging to maintain a happy disposition amidst all that official holiday cheer.
Here are 3 clever practices I draw on (a lot) to help me fall in love with the holidays. These practices serve as a daily reminder to enjoy the ones we are with, and the moments we are blessed to be in.
#1) Choose Happy
Happiness is a choice. I choose it, you choose it, he chooses it and so does she. It’s a gift we give ourselves. We can also choose our unhappiness. The trick is to care about how you feel. A lot.
When we are tuned in to how we feel, it becomes easier to detect when we need to course-correct and get back on the path of feeling good.
If my deepest desire is to feel a sense of happiness and calm over the holidays, and I also understand I hold the key to my happiness, then it’s simply a matter of consistently choosing happiness.
These are all choices that belong to us. With some effort, care and tweaking, we can shape these choices, so we become the beneficiaries of our life and circumstance, instead of being victims.
- Choose patterns of thought that help us feel good when we think them.
- Choose which events really light you up. You are not obligated to say yes to every invitation. Be selective. Less is more. Anticipate, savor, recollect each one.
- Choose self-care. If you need a break during the party, step out for a breath of fresh air. You’ll often meet another introvert who wants to engage in deeper conversation.
#2) See Happy
The concept that happiness comes from within is old news, but let’s face it, the holidays (and dreamy advertising pictures) orient our thinking to what we want, want, want and what’s left to do, do, do. It tells us if only we had that new shiny thing, or that picture-perfect living room or that perfect family, then we could be happy, too. It can leave us exhausted and depleted.
Our perception of life is our experience of life. Our experience of life is everything, it’s the whole show and journey – this is it! So, if you don’t care for the view day after day – it’s time to shape the lens you see through, so the view becomes more pleasant.
- Start and end your day with gratitude. Keep your phone or potential distractions out of reach, and instead open your eyes to the gift of a new day. It can be as simple as being grateful for one thing you can see, one thing you can touch, one thing you can hear, and one thing you can smell.
- Create your own holiday “ad,” not with all the things you don’t have, but with images of what you love about your life. Print out a picture of you in your surroundings, with loved ones or your pet if you have one. Then write ad copy highlighting the best features and traits. Use over-the-top language like the ads do. WOW!, one of a kind, NEW!, unique, amazing, vintage. Tape the text blocks onto the picture and, using markers, add a bold headline: Best Holiday Evah or Rockin’ the Holidays 2018.
#3) Be Happy
All we ever have is the moments we are in. Yet, it is easy to fall into the habit of wanting to rush to the next moment, or dissect a moment that has already passed. We all do this to different degrees – it’s okay.
If we want to make room in our day-to-day lives for a deeper sense of happiness, working with our now moments is the very best place to start. We can start right now – we don’t have to delay this fun practice.
- Be happy wherever you are. Instead of delaying your happiness for future events, be happy now. Find the simple pleasures in the moments you’re in. Instead of being irritated in a busy line up, notice your surroundings. Send a silent wish of happiness to a stranger around you. As you wait, create a new narrative in your mind that actually feels good.
If you’d like even more ways to have happy holidays, enroll in my FREE E-Course: Fall in Love with Your Holidays. You’ll get great tips in self-care, whether you’re an introvert or a social butterfly, and easy to follow practices on making this the best holiday season ever.
Have fun with this practice. Feel your way through. If it feels good, keep going in that direction. If it doesn’t, make your own tweaks and trust you’ll find your way. All you really need to start with is the desire to want to feel good, and have the very best holiday season you possibly can.
Happiest holidays to you and yours!