Think about your past 5 holiday seasons. Do you have warm happy memories of them? Or do you feel stressed and overwhelmed at the thought of it being yet another December?
I love it and hate it at the same time. There’s a warmth, a feeling of love and goodwill in the world that I feel at Christmas time that just isn’t there the rest of the year. I have fond memories of Christmas from my childhood. As an adult, I hate how long my to do list is, the crowds, the traffic and the constant beckoning from retailers to buy more everywhere we go. But Christmas doesn’t have to make us want to pull our hair out. We don’t have to sacrifice our happiness or health for the happiness of others. For a long time, I struggled with this. I thought I just had to accept the chaos and stress that came with the season.
What If I told you that you could feel more of what you want to feel this holiday season? That there is room for what you want and for what you want for others?
By taking a few minutes to get clear about how you want to feel, you’re more likely to take actions that will get you there – instead of wishing the month was over already! How different will this and future holidays be if we spend more of our time in a way that we truly want?
Get a pen and a piece of paper and write down the answers to these 2 questions:
- What feelings do you want to feel more of?
- What feelings do you want to feel less of?
I want to feel more joy, calm and content.
I want to feel less frazzled, overwhelmed and exhausted.
I can have those feelings. You can have more of whatever you wrote down also.
By doing more of the things that bring us the feelings we want. By doing less of the things that bring up the feelings we don’t want.
We are in charge of how we want to feel. We make choices daily, hourly, that affect this. If I choose to overeat, that is going to make me feel stressed and sick. I know this. I also know that eating nourishing foods in appropriate amounts makes me feel good. Choosing to eat well means I feel good more of the time. I want to feel good, so I’m going to take more actions that help me feel that way.
If I want to feel more joy, calm and contentedness, I need to get in touch with what brings me those feelings and then take action on those things. Again this starts with writing things down (it makes it real, concrete and more likely to happen!):
Get that pen and paper out again and write down your answers to these 2 questions:
- What specific actions will you take this month to feel more of the feelings you want to feel?
- What specific actions will you stop doing or do less of to reduce feeling the way you don’t want to feel?
You can follow my example below.
This month, to create more joy, calm and contentedness in my life, I will do the following:
To feel more Joy – I will spend more time with friends, more quality time with John, make more time for my genealogical research projects. I will only say yes to invitations that bring me joy. I will decline those that don’t.
To feel more Calm – I will get a good sweaty workout in at least 5 days a week. I will read a book at bedtime (instead of being on my phone) and I will not have more than 2 cups of coffee per day (a 3rd one managed to sneak in since we got a Moccamaster coffee maker a few weeks ago – it makes coffee irresistibly smooth).
To feel more Content – I will spend more time reflecting on all the wonderful things in my life by meditating 3 times a week and compiling a daily gratitude list. I will not give any more attention to the things that make me anxious (worrying doesn’t fix anything). I will reduce the amount of time I am on social media for non-business purposes.
To feel less frazzled, overwhelmed and exhausted – I will make sleep a priority, eat plenty of green and orange vegetables and allow for more quiet time for myself. I will eat the foods that make my body feel good and remember to avoid the ones that don’t.
There you have it, it’s like my own personal roadmap to happier holidays. If I make the actions I listed a priority and follow the path I’ve laid out for myself, I will enjoy the season a heck of a lot more. What about you? So, what do you want to feel more of and what will you commit to doing to feel that way?
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