7 Ways to Create more Joy this Holiday Season
The year twenty-twenty has been a topsy-turvy year for all of us.
While some say “Christmas is cancelled” with an array of emotions and a heavy heart, how can we end the year with more lightness and joy?
What we think, we feel. Say the word stress, we think of what stresses us, say the word joy and other more positive images come to mind, and a gentle smile may even appear on our lips.
So, instead of trying to drop the stress, why not focus on increasing the joy, and the stress will dissipate naturally. I think we all need good doses of daily joy these days, not only to raise our own vibe but the collective vibe and energy of the planet!
Think of joy like turning on the light in a dark room. We just need to be ready and willing to flip the switch
Let’s explore ways to flip the switch and turn up the volume of joy this season.
I was asked to contribute a holiday self-care practice for an upcoming article and it inspired how I spent my Sunday recently.
My work revolves around teaching the principles of Happiness and Well-Being. So I put my self-care quote to the test which is shared below after my Top 7 Joys of today.
I keep Sundays to myself when I can. I call them “Self-Care Sundays” and simply go with the flow and do what sparks joy, harmony, and well-being. My routines and rituals include ways to care for myself physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally or all of the above!
This particular Sunday included a mix of activities. After a couple of heavy weeks, I felt like I needed more lightness and laughter. These unplanned activities lit up my heart and brought me back to appreciating the simplicity of Joys that surround us all in any given moment – if we choose to see them.
Today I chose to look for them. Here were my top 7 Joys of the day:
1. Watching the fun adolescent girls singing Christmas carols while rollerblading up our street (no snow in Nanaimo!).
2. A rainy walk with Shiva (my playful Golden Retriever) meant the streets and the beach were quiet, we watched the ducks swim, the boats drift by and Shiva was happy chewing on a tasty stick.
3. The power of the pause. I discovered a welcoming park bench I never noticed before under an inviting tree where I received inspiration for an ongoing project.
4. Another new discovery of a tree with the curliest branches I have ever seen. I love all trees and am always amazed by their unique beauty.
5. It is now dark by 5pm and the streets were illuminated by extravagant Christmas decorations. I stopped to enjoy the artistry and dedication of many patient people!
6. I am amazed that the orchid Ian gave me for my birthday is still in full bloom, I appreciate it’s beauty everyday. (I guess I am fit to have house plants after all! - mom will get the joke).
7. Spent a toasty afternoon indoors baking granny’s shortbreads so they will be ready to mail to my family tomorrow. Due to travel restrictions, we will be together in spirit this year.
To cultivate more sustainable happiness and well-being, instead of trying to decrease stress, set an intention to increase your inner joy.
Care for your self from the inside out. Close your eyes, breathe, and bring forth images and feelings that augment lightness and joy. Or with your eyes open, choose to see evidence of Joy happening all around you and take a moment to appreciate it.
Energy flows where focus goes. We project what we feel and who we are Being to the world around us. We can step into timeless “Being-ness” by allowing ourselves to feel more and think less.
I invite you to take a few minutes to descend daily from your head to your heart and allow Joy in. What simple things bring you Joy? Your shift in awareness will amplify an elevated vibe of good energy and you will become a beacon of light – now that is a gift others can benefit from as well 🙂
Be the Joy you wish to see in the world.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and beautiful holidays my friends.
“Love and Joy are like echo chambers, it always comes back to you.” Dr Jean Houston
Laura Warf is the founder and Chief Happiness Officer of the School of Happiness, an online fitness and wellness platform that guides people to cultivate a resilient body, a clear mind and a happy heart leading to greater fulfillment at home and at work.