Oh, the holidays can be a stressful time. Airline delays, gridlock, spending money you don’t have, coping with difficult relatives, standing in endless checkout lines… it’s enough to make even the calmest person a little frazzled. When the holidays roll around, people get so wrapped up in the season that they forget that they are equipped with certain strengths they can use to make the holidays what they are intended to be: a time of giving, happiness and festivity.
ARISE recently stumbled upon an article by Amanda Horne on Positive Psychology News Daily. It was about using your strengths during the holidays. In keeping with the ARISE mission to provide life skills and strategies to people who need them, here are several ways to use the strengths you already have to make this holiday season a pleasant one.
- Focus less on materialistic goals and more on goals that involve personal growth, connections with others and giving back to friends, family and your community.
- Live in the now. Savor the moment instead of dwelling on what you need to do tomorrow.
- Appreciate what you have, even if it’s not much. It could always be worse.
- Set a meaningful life goal and take small steps toward meeting that goal.
- Distract yourself from negative self-talk. Don’t let your own mind be your worst enemy. When your thoughts turn negative, step outside yourself, push the thoughts aside and think of something you love. This is not an easy thing to do. Sometimes we don’t even realize we’re thinking negative thoughts.
- If curiosity is a strength you possess, use it to get closer to your relatives. Ask them to share their fondest holiday memory with you.
- If you’re a humorous person, find things to laugh about. Joke around with people in line at the department store. Laugh as much as you can. Find something amusing in even the most stressful, difficult situations.
Make up your mind that this holiday season, you will focus on everything you have, from your family and friends to the strength inside you. Tell yourself that you are stronger than your emotions. You are stronger than your stress. Enjoy the blessings of your life and look forward to a fresh start this new year.