How To Stay Grateful During the Holidays
We’re only a few days away from the beginning of the holiday season. Our kids will be off school and family will be visiting from out of town. It’s generally regarded as the busiest time of the year. What can we do to stay grateful during the holidays? In this post, I’ll share with you some of my favorite ways to incorporate gratitude into the season. Whether you choose to celebrate Christmas or not, there is always an opportunity to be grateful.
How to Stay Grateful During the Holidays
1.Keep up your daily gratitude practice.
There are many of us who already have a daily gratitude practice in place. During the holidays, especially when we are travelling, it can be a challenge to keep our practices going. My two non-negotiable practices are: waking up and giving thanks; and my evening gratitude journal. What about you? Do you have gratitude practices that you do, no matter where you are?
2. Start a new, simple gratitude practice.
It may seem like it’s best to wait until the holidays are over to start something new, however when we are faced with holiday challenges and overwhelm, a gratitude practice might just be the answer! I suggest changing the name of your alarm on your phone (did you know you could change it?) to I am Grateful or Thank You For This Day. As simple as this seems, it can make a world of difference in our daily mindset.
3. Be kind.
When you are waiting in line or in a traffic jam, choose to be kind. It can be really difficult sometimes to be kind when we are frustrated. And it’s something that I still work on too. I do my best to remember that the person in front of me is a real, live human being. Their story might be a difficult one and their attitude might have absolutely nothing to do with me. Same with being stuck in a traffic jam. It can be tempting to try and race ahead, and not leave space for others to cut in. Sometimes, it’s not worth the stress of the moment, and we can choose to be the person who lets in that driver who waiting until the very last moment to merge.
4. Say thank you often, and accept compliments.
During the holidays we often take time to dress up and make an effort when we go out to parties and events. Remember to say thank you to those who are hosting you and keep your eyes open for opportunities to give thanks everywhere you go. And when someone gives you a compliment, accept it with a heart-felt thank you and loving look of gratitude in your eyes. We don’t always think of a compliment as gift. Yet it’s such a kind and wonderfully personal gift that we often brush off. When we look at someone and say thank you, it’s a beautiful way to acknowledge someone else’s kindness.
5. Shower with gratitude, not gifts.
For those of us who have a little bit of downtime, now would be great time to write thank you cards. It’s already too late for Christmas cards (and many don’t celebrate this holiday), so we can send our gratitude via snail mail. I love to grab a stack of cards and a roll of stamps, so that I’m already ready to send a card or two. The cards can be blank or have a message of Thank You on them, it’s up to you! When we write messages of gratitude, it’s important to remember to be specific about why we are grateful for the person whom we are writing to. For example, if you’ve been hosted overnight during the holidays, sending a Thank-You card to your host would be a wonderful way to wrap up a visit.
6. Choose to be grateful about the weather – no matter what!
It’s super easy to complain about the weather. This is often a hot topic of conversation at holiday parties and events. What if we decided not to complain and found something to be grateful for about whatever the conditions are? People might think that we are bit strange or funny, however it’s a great way to shift the tone of a conversation to gratitude and help others to look at things from a different perspective.
7. Help our children to be grateful.
There’s nothing worse than a child who wakes up on Christmas morning without gratitude. We all know that there are times when Santa does not deliver what was on our kids Christmas list. Or even more difficult, when they are given a gift from a friend or relative that they aren’t interested in or weren’t expecting. What I’ve found is that if we work together on our expectations of what Santa will be bringing and what others may or may not give us, it helps them to be more grateful for what they do receive. We also donate gifts to children in need, which can also help our kids to have more gratitude for what’s under the tree. The sooner we can teach our children to be grateful for any gift, whether we like it or not, the better it is. Even if we receive something that we don’t like or can’t use, there’s always a place for gratitude. We can be grateful that the person thought of us and appreciate the gesture. I do believe that it’s important to be kind and gracious for any gift we receive.
8. Get some sleep!
What does sleep have to do with gratitude? Everything! When we don’t sleep well, we are more likely to have a short fuse or be unkind to others. When travelling during the holiday season, pack your own pillow whenever possible (I’ve taken mine as a carry on AND packed it in a suitcase), bring earplugs and an eye mask too. Download the Rain Rain App for ambient noise, which can help to fall asleep. I’m also a big fan of using melatonin to help me to fall asleep (my favorite brand is USANA).
From the bottom of my grateful heart, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. It means a great deal to me that you choose to read my blog posts on a weekly basis, and I thank you for your continued love and support.