Well, it has certainly been a tough year for many.
Lots of things to worry about. But what if we could have a Happy Holiday? No way, you say? There’s simply too much to do and to worry about.
“Exactly,” says Annie Jennings, creator of the online feature magazine, JenningsWire, dedicated to more success for everyone, “which is why we queried the Happiness Experts to find out how we can be happy for the Holidays, starting right now.”
GO AHEAD! BE HAPPY FOR THE HOLIDAYS.
Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo (ahappyyou.com), author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Happiness, asks “this holiday season would you rather be perfect or be happy?” Dr. Lombardo notes that striving for perfection may lead to sacrificing intimacy and time with family & friends.
“The holidays are a time to appreciate what we have and enjoy the people in our lives”, says Dr. Lombardo “many are actually focusing on something else: being “perfect.”
So why not stop trying to be perfect? Here is Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo’s tip on dealing with our tendency to be perfect:
Stressed out about making the perfect meal (or meals)? Solicit assistance. Ask guests to bring over a dish. Have guests help out in the kitchen — they are usually hanging out there, anyway. Use the services of your friendly grocery store or restaurant. Simplify and stop worrying. I mean, do you really need to have nine different choices for side dishes?
Dr. Sharon Stills, Naturopathic Physician, (drstills.com) author of R.E.D. Alert -Get Real and Heal (upcoming book being published in Winter of 2013) provides these holiday happiness tips:
1. Make sure you get enough sleep. 8 Hours of sleep allows our bodies to reset and regenerate so we can better face the events of our day.
2. Don’t over commit yourself. Learn to say No – having healthy boundaries is a good thing!
3. Give the gift of yourself. Get out there and volunteer – collect items for the needy, serve up some meals at a soup kitchen, visit a hospital/nursing home, dress up as Santa and cheer up some children. Focusing on what you can do for others will help you feel good on the inside.
4. Get some full spectrum light exposure. The darkened days at this time of the year can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Stressed out over your finances? Too many presents to get and not enough money?
Our next expert, Cassandra “Coach Cass” Roache (InspireMany.com) shares a few ways to lighten your financial commitment. Here we go:
Ask the family to do Secret Santa, so it’s no longer getting a gift for each person or child, but for one and there is a spending limit. Ask the family to do community service for the holidays instead of a gift exchange to focus on what’s really important. Do a gift exchange after Christmas so that you can get all the sales.
Surprise gifts cause happiness!
What does John Dowd Jr., (http://www.facebook.com/heroesmentorsandfriends) author of Heroes, Mentors and Friends have to say about Holiday Happiness? Let’s find out:
“Find someone, at work or surprise a relative with a small gift (your choice on size/value) and give it to them at an unexpected time. Watch what it does for them, and you. Happy Holidays!”
At the end of the day, it’s all about how many “moments” you enjoyed
Certified Life Coach and Energy Healer, Joumana Nasr, Precious Victories Coaching (preciousvictories.com) reminds us to enjoy the moment with these two tips:
Remember that you are a human BEing and not a human doing. So no matter what you are doing, BE in the moment. That means that if you are stuck in traffic, just BE stuck in traffic. Don’t start thinking about what you are going to make for dinner or worrying that you haven’t finished your shopping. There is really nothing you can do about all that while sitting in your car, so it is a waste of your time and energy to worry about it. If you are at a holiday, BE at the holiday party. Don’t think about how you are going to function the next day with the little amount of sleep you are going to get tonight. Deal with tomorrow, tomorrow. Now just BE and enjoy the party.
Joumana Nasr’s second tip is find time everyday to do something for you, something that recharges your batteries. Everyone needs some down time and that is especially true during the holiday season. What is the thing that relaxes you? Is it a massage? Schedule one. Is it a soak in a hot bath? Make time for one. Is it some alone time with a good book? Carve that time into your schedule. You have definitely earned it. By taking care of yourself, you are better able to take care of those around you and the tasks on your to-do list. But more importantly, you decrease your stress and you boost your health so you can BE happier during this frantic time of year.
BUT WHAT ABOUT ANNIE’S HAPPY HOLIDAY TIPS? How about a tip from Annie, creator of JenningsWire who’s all about everything success? Ok, here is what makes me happy:
- I ask the kids for the actual links to their MUST HAVE Christmas list. I have found over the years that if I buy one item that is not on the list, they look at me like “what is this thing?!” Ugg! So why bother? Here is a big tip for happiness, just get them what is on the list (winds up cheaper in the long run as you waste not a penny on stuff you love, but they won’t.)
- I definitely plan for the right gift for each person other than the kids (and I also ask for “the list” but usually the adults say “oh, nothing” so I am left to my own devices), I simply ask myself, what is it that they would really enjoy and that would make their lives easier. Or what is their “to die for” gift? Such as, has your sister been hunting for the perfect pair of hunter green jeans? Well then, go after them for her. Is your brother-in-law a fan of Red Stag (it’s apparently a really cool alcoholic beverage that everyone seems to love), get him a bottle (by the way, I brought this gift to Thanksgiving at his house and it was all the rage (who knew?). I was like the local hero of the Thanksgiving dinner for bringing the Red Stag. I got the spiced kind and of course, had to see why I was suddenly famous at the dinner table for bringing this, and had a sip. Out of this world. So that makes a good gift for someone who likes a little bit of the “something something” every now and then.
This is working very well this year, recycle catalogs the second they come. But first, and this is the key, FLIP THROUGH REAL QUICK (this is how I found my sister’s hunter green jeans she has been the lookout for, for many years so a quick look won’t hurt as you might find the perfect ‘must have’ gift that you can order online saving you lots of time). But mostly, these catalogs are filled with things we really don’t need, are not on anyone’s list and they sit around looking all tempting. Off they go! I am not saying I am totally against catalogs as I do find some of the ‘must haves’ and order the items, I just wish retailers would publish less catalogs. I feel bad for all of the waste as my recycling pile grows to several feet high with these catalogs I did not sign up for and I also think this: so many businesses have gone green, including my own yet, I don’t see the catalogs going green, I just see more and more of them arriving everyday.
P.S. From Annie: Want to see a whole series on being happy for the holidays? I have lots more tips where these came from. Dozens of experts have sent in their Holiday Happiness tips! Be sure to LIKE or SHARE this post as a vote for MORE HAPPINESS FOR ALL.
All Heart, Annie
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