When life doesn’t match the holiday festivities we see on TV and our social media timelines, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the holiday blues.
Whether you’re unable to spend time with your family this year or you’re choosing your emotional health over stressful family dynamics, you can create your own holiday traditions to spark joy and gratitude.
Here are five things you can do this holiday season.
- Spend time with your chosen family.
Get together with friends for dinner, a movie or game night. And remember, you don’t have to overspend to have a good time. Host a potluck, watch classic movies on your favorite streaming platform or dust off those playing cards and board games.
Reflect on the things and people you’re grateful for. The end of the year is the perfect time to get quiet and reflect on what you’re grateful for. When you’re done reflecting, take some time to write down what you look forward to in the new year.
Did you know that your brain releases “happy” neurochemicals when you help others? It’s true, according to The Neuroscience of Giving. There are plenty of families and people in need right now. Find a food bank, soup kitchen or go through your closet and find clothes you no longer wear to donate.
- Check on your loved ones.
If you can’t be with your family and friends this holiday, take some time to call and let them know that you’re thinking of them. Having a good laugh with your favorite family members could be the mood booster you needed.
- Cook your favorite meal.
You don’t have to cook traditional holiday food. Find joy in cooking the dishes you love. Don’t feel obligated to cook a meal with all the holiday fixings. If you’re in the mood to cook tacos, don’t let anyone stop you. It’s okay to prioritize your joy this season.