Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holiday Depression? 8 Steps To Be Happy

Holidays are coming! Some are having the times of their life during Winter holidays: parties, friends, celebrations, cheering, sharing, etc.. Some find this time of the year very demanding. Most of us experience something in-between these two extremes: fun in some situation, pressure in others. Joy of sharing time with people we love, uncertainty about how to deal with holidays pressure.

These are 8 steps you can embrace to live joyfully during the holidays. You can live happily by:

-Being present, and accepting
Start with yourself. If you feel joyful in the situation you are now, than enjoy it fully and share it with people around you! No matter what we are conditioned into thinking, joy comes from inside, and grows when shared. Not from the latest gadget on sale, nor from getting a career advancement.
If you feel the current situation is neutral, for example now that you are reading this post and the holidays celebrations are not here yet, then just enjoy the space. Right here and now, everything is fine. When the time for celebrations comes, then you will have plenty of energy and resources to be part of it.
If you find yourself in a situation which is not comfortable, then just breath. Breath in, breath out, Breath slowly, to relax your sympathetic system. You may have your lucky charm, your favourite jokes to tell, etc. However, sometimes you may not be able to use them. Breathing is always with you, so keep it your friend.
Then be aware of people and surroundings. We are all on the same boat, with our ups and downs. With our strengths and question marks. With our funny jokes, and cliches. Accept people as they are, give them space. Most they will respond by accepting you as you are.
Let the "ghosts" of past and future holidays go. Accept the past holidays are gone. Accept the future holidays are far from now. Be in the present moment.
Positive phrasing
For these holidays, and for most of your life, visualize more what you want to be, and less what you want to move away from. If I say you: "do not think about the pink tree!", what do you visualize? A pink tree! Positive visualizations and course of actions, being/doing what you want to be/do, are more powerful than negative ones (moving away from something).
Some of us recharge while being in a group. They feel the energy coming from other beings. Some of us recharge in a quiet environment. Their energy grows while in nature, reading a book, etc. Know what recharges you, and refill your batteries for the holidays.

Embracing diversity
Variety, the spicy of life! The holidays may be a once a life-time (or at least, once in a year) opportunity to get to know better people you meet daily in formal settings. Or to touch base with family members. Any inspiration, for your new year, you can take from them?

Sharing the ride, and volunteering
Can you share with a trusted friend your feelings about the holidays times? Spontaneously, by sharing some of the ups and downs. Without emphasizing any specific aspect.
Balance this "holiday budding" with sharing your real gifts (not the material ones!) with society. Can you volunteer for a shelter, canteen, senior's group, etc.? By shifting the attention from you to other precious beings, you reconnect with your real nature.
-Eating properly
Holidays are a great time to get to taste again your auntie's cake, etc. Considering food portions at most of holidays event come in generous sizes, ensure to have at home only healthy ingredients for cooking, like fresh vegetables and fruits. That is your detox time.
If you want to feel calmer, make yourself a relaxing tea before an event, and stay sober during parties. No matter what your priorities are during the holidays, you benefit from feeding your body and mind with appropriate food, in appropriate quantities, when you have most of the saying in your menu': at home. This ensures you have full energy available.
Get plenty of walking, and fresh air. Limit your car usage to the minimum.  If you already have a regular schedule (gym, yoga, pilates, etc.) try to keep it, or modify it to ensure you get your physical activity.
After a generous lunch and some talking, excuse yourself and take a short walk near-by. You can bring some friends/relatives with you, or just have a quiet walk.
Having a plan B
When you are in a quiet environment, where you feel safe and in peace, enjoy the blissful experience. And gently touch one area of your body (ex.: wrist). If, for any reason, you find your inner peace feels shaken during the holidays, just centre your attention on your breath as it is. And gently touch again your chosen spot. Your breath and your peaceful spot have always been there, are there now, and always will be. And so is your ability to enjoy life as it unfolds, during holidays and during the rest of the year.

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