Positively Present Through the End of the Year

Just as a puppy can be more of a challenge than a gift,
 so too can the holidays.  John Clayton

Each year we are faced with the same cycle of seasons and holidays.  Some holidays we anticipate happily and others we dread.  For those times we are likely to dread, we have a tendency to start dreading early and magnifying the negative more than we do with the positives during the year; this is human.  It is too easy in our fast paced society to slip into a negative mood followed by bad habits before we even realize we are doing it.  There is pressure all around to buy into the false sense of happiness that is directly tied into spending money during the end of year holidays.  There is the pressure to live up to all kinds of social expectations with the unrealistic portrayal we see of families on television and in the movies.  I invite you to please take some time, today, to consciously decide how you truly want to approach this holiday season; for there is no reason to look at the remainder of the year as something to get through thinking “each year, same stuff” it just takes a little effort and purposeful mindset. 

Here’s are some tips to approach this holiday season:

•    Realize we are all in the same boat; we are never truly alone.  The feeling of being alone is just that, a feeling.  And what do we know about feelings?  They are not facts!  Feelings, as strong as they can be, do not make things factual, but they do have the power to overtake our confidence, if we allow them to. We can consciously replace that self talk with the mindset, I am a loved being of this universe; part of something bigger than myself.  Try it, this latter statement holds much more positive power than the former.

•    Stay in the present.  The holidays have a really bad way of glorifying the past and the future; the fallacy of how wonderful were holidays past and how spectacular this upcoming holiday will be.  When in fact, the way we stay most content and live most fully, is by staying in the presence of each day as it comes.  You will find by doing this, I believe, that there is much more ability to experience positively the season as a whole with this mindset.

•    Consciously practice what is positive to your spirit. A positive mindset is difficult for many. Our news media bombards us with negativity every hour of every day.  And at the same time during the holiday season, we are expected to have a very merry something! Realizing this dichotomy and focusing instead on what feeds our souls in a positive, loving way, is a conscious effort and one that is extremely important to practice daily during this time of year.   This leads us to the last two strategies of experiencing the holidays this November and December with positive mental health; giving of ourselves and practicing uplifting behavior.

•    Giving of ourselves through our time and experience is a proven way of feeding our own souls.  Often when we should do this the most is when we are least likely to; when we feel low and unneeded/unwanted.  I ask you to make a personal commitment to give or serve your community in some way this season.  The resulting feeling to us, is an unexpected yet very much needed feeling of self-worth, purpose and desire to do more for others and ourselves.  It truly is the gift to ourselves that keeps giving for as long as we make the effort to serve others in some capacity.

•    The last thought I will give here is the practice of being an uplifting soul to yourself and others.  And sometimes we have to do this when we do not feel we can be uplifting; we down right feel lousy.  This is when we are called upon to “fake it until we make it”.  And this is a valid method to turning our spirit around at any given time of year.  It is a fact that what we practice is what we become. 

They may seem all to familiar and maybe they seem superficial or simplistic or impossible.  But please, take what could be the most important few minutes of this early holiday season, and decide how you would like to approach this holiday season and navigate through to the end of the year.  It is a choice, as we always have, a choice, please choose what is good for you and the health of your emotions and feelings; you deserve to live the best life you can each day, and holiday time or not, this is truly possible with the right mindset. So, from now until the end of the year call upon yourself to manage your mental health wisely.  The upcoming holidays will happen without fail like they do every year, and we have the choice every day of the rest of the year, to feed our souls and mental health in a positive way. If we practice this now, we not only set ourselves up for a strong finish for this year, we also set ourselves up for a strong start in the new year.