By Kaori Kay Cheslock, RHNC
We’ve all gone through so many changes this year, frequently adjusting our lives to cope with new rules, regulations, and changes of all types. The upcoming holidays will also be a new experience.
Typical family gathering traditions may not be happening in many parts of the world, which means that the way of sharing holiday meals with extended family and close friends is also going to look different this year.
Does that mean we are not allowed to share joy, laughter, love, and appreciation with loved ones? Should we just stay home and not celebrate this wonderful time of the year? Absolutely not.
The joy of Christmas continues to be present,
no matter the obstacles we face.
Yes, you may not be able to give hugs to your family and friends, you may need to see them virtually over the computer screen from home – but it’s very possible to share moments with the people who matter to you most. Now is the time to make memories in a new way.
We should always keep in mind that the world is more advanced than ever, and many of us reap benefits. Benefit we may take for granted at troubling times like these. Even though a lot of things are not as easy to access with the precautionary measures in place, we still have so much to be thankful for, including:
- Access to medical services
- The use of transit and other modes of transportation
- A roof over our head
- Access to food
- A cozy bed to sleep at night
- Clothes to wear
- Access to online shopping to buy non-essential items to make your life easier and more enjoyable during this difficult time
Because of technology, we are still able to connect to the world, with our friends and family from a distance. This holiday is the time to appreciate and be thankful for what we have, and recognize the importance of things we have missed.
With an eye towards being grateful, let’s look back at the whole year to admire our tenacity overcoming obstacles, give ourselves a gold star for the hard work, and be ready to welcome the new year with a stronger, healthier, happier mind.
Yet, many are not buzzing with festive feelings as in past years. We get it. You’re certainly not alone. Today we have good news for you to bolster that holiday spirit – there are things you can do to make this holiday exciting and beautiful. Why not decorate your house, get local Christmas gifts and ship them to your loved ones (A sincere thank you to essential workers for staying in business for us), write holiday cards to send to family & friends, and enjoy festive meals and drinks in the comfort of your home.
“But no one is visiting my house this year… why should I bother decorating? Why would I make fancy looking meals for only myself/ my household?” Well, BECAUSE no one is visiting your house, you should do these things. For yourself.
You may think it doesn’t make any sense, or it’s simply too much work to do it only for yourself. But it does make so much sense, even if it is a little work – it is for your personal happiness and health. Making your home a place where you want to relax after a long day is very important for your mental and spiritual wellness. Our body, mind, and spirit are all connected in more ways than we may realise. When our mental state is (or isn’t quite) where it should be, our body receives the sign. You may have experienced this in a different way; when you’re in your favourite clothes, you feel confident in yourself. When you walk into a room head and chest up straight, you feel so much more powerful and energetic. These things are great examples of our body and mind connection.
The real magic is, when we are confident and energetic, our actions are positively affected. We can do a better job in many aspects of our daily life when we’re in a positive & optimistic state. And when we do a good job, it makes us happy and even more confident in ourselves. When we are confident, that’s when we are sending the most attractive energy to the world. The actions and positive energy attracts great things/ people that enhance our life. This is how a positive cycle works.
It can be as small as having your favourite candle on your coffee table, having a Christmas tree or some decorations in your room, putting some holiday lights in your garden, or making a healthy Christmas meal and enjoying it with your favorite dishes and cutlery – do things that make you happy and celebrate this holiday for yourself. You will see how powerful it is.
We think this year is the best time to do things just to make yourself smile.
Take action to bright up your mental state and support your physical health also. Make your meals by using a batch cooking method. Having meals ready ahead of time will help you stay seamlessly on track. Cooking in batches will ensure you’re ahead of the game while preventing the tendency to lose the productive routine you would have – which is especially important if you are going to work or school.
On the topic of physical health, take the opportunity now to try something new that you can do easily because you are at home – try yoga exercises or self guided stretching, meditation, bodyweight exercises, relax in a bath, re-organize clutter in your home to welcome the New Year with a refreshed space…. Find joy hanging out with yourself and improving your habits or your household. You will find how it positively affects your mood and actions.
In summary, this holiday is the best time to find the “new me” mentally which most of us tend to forget when things get uprooted from our “normal”. This will impact your physical and mental health now, and carry you forward into the new year with a happy heart. Believe us, and just try some of these suggested strategies. You will see what we mean.
Let’s not forget there are always ways to stay happy and well – and happiness and wellness are the key elements to maintain your physical health. We wish you all a wonderful holiday season and New Year. Stay safe & happy, warm & comfortable, and share joy & love with the world to start 2021 strong.