Practicing Gratitude Isn't the Only Way To Thrive This Season
How to survive Thrive During the Holiday Season.
Some of you might be thinking, there is no way that I'm going to thrive over the next four weeks! For many, it's going to be a very difficult time and you might not know how you’re going to get through it. And if that's you, that's okay. Even if only one of the things I share helps you get through it, that’s a good thing.
However, if you're looking to thrive during the holiday season, I invite you to tap into two, three or more of the things I share. This is a very strange and different time in our lives, as we navigate a global pandemic. How can we create a holiday season to remember?
Would you prefer to listen? This blog is an edited version of the podcast I shared, #89 - Practicing Gratitude Isn't the Only Way To Thrive This Season.
Allowing Yourself Time to Grieve.
Start with an awareness that things aren’t going to be the same this year. Allow yourself to feel sad, angry or upset. There are so many things that won’t be happening and most of us will be apart from our friends and family. It’s ok to grieve these losses.
For others, there will be the loss of loved ones to grieve. One of my closest friends said good-bye to her father recently. Without the ability to congregate with others and share our condolences in the same way, it will be difficult. And many aren’t able to be with their loved ones when they pass. Grief has a place and it’s important we allow ourselves to feel it.
Such simple words, such a simple action. Practicing kindness helps all of us to thrive. Here's the thing: we don't know what's happening in the life of the person that's working behind that plexiglass divider or mask or face shield. They might be going through a challenging time at home or are fearful about being at work. There are many reasons why kindness is important and right now, if we can remember that we are all human beings and that we all need a bit of kindness in our day, that will make a difference. The best part is, we can turn around our own mood by treating someone else with kindness.
Traditionally the holiday season is a season for giving back. It’s a season for many fundraising events and for many charities, it’s their busiest time of the year. Where are you able to give back in your community now? Because of restrictions, giving back might look like clicking on a website and doing a cash donation. Or adding a few extra dollars to your grocery bill when you checkout.
It might not be the way that you've done it before, but if we're talking about thriving, I truly believe that giving back to others is a huge part of how we thrive as a society. It's supporting those that are in need, and sadly, there are many more families that are in need this year.
Decorate Your Home
I’ll admit, I’ve never really been that big on decorating for Christmas. This year, decorating seems like a great thing to do to thrive. And I love to see the twinkling lights on the tree. My daughter convinced us to put our tree up this past weekend and I’m grateful she did.
Whether you celebrate Christmas or another holiday, decorating your home can bring cheer to your heart. My husband and I both work from home since the pandemic began, and we also homeschool our daughter. We are home a LOT! The decorations give us something different to look at and put us in a holiday spirit! This is also a great way to support a local business. In our area, there are several small businesses and nurseries bursting with holiday decorations. It’s a simple way to invest in your community and make the dark days a bit brighter.
Create New Traditions
And while we're on the subject of decorating for the holidays, another idea for thriving during this holiday season is thinking about new traditions can we create.
One of my favorite traditions include drinking mimosas while unwrapping gifts. Granted, at 7 am and with no food in my stomach, it’s mostly orange juice with a splash of bubbly. My husband suggested this year we get several bottles of bubbly for Christmas and make the day extra merry!! We aren’t big alcohol drinkers so more than one bottle between the two of us would a be quite a funny new tradition.
We also love watching a movie on Christmas day. The movie theaters are closed, so it would be a great time to re-watch one of my favorite series such as Star Wars or Lord of The Rings. Or we could binge watch some holiday favorites like The Grinch and Love, Actually.
My favorite Christmas Eve activity is to drive around and look at Christmas lights. That is a COVID friendly activity. Turn on the Christmas tunes and sing along, while driving far too slowly and enjoying the twinkling lights.
One last idea would be to look back at family traditions that might have been lost. Are there special ceremonies or traditions that you could revive? Perhaps this could be a project to do with your kids.
Rest and Recover
Traditionally, there is a two-week break over the holidays. Many businesses shut down and kids are off school. Often, your body's just so exhausted and so tired that all of a sudden, your adrenaline stops flowing or your cortisol level drops, and you get ill. This is not the season to get any kind of illness*.
If you're only going to choose one thing to do, choose to rest and recover. Give yourself permission to binge watch holiday movies or your favorite sitcom (Schitt’s Creek is a must!). Play video games all day, read a book from cover-to-cover, and sleep until your body is done sleeping.
My last few suggestions are about connecting and leading with our heart.
Finding an online community
If you’re new to the blog, you may not be aware that my husband and I are both streamers on a platform called Twitch. I wrote about our experiences in a previous blog post a few months ago: https://wakeupwithgratitude.com/blogs/gratitude/finding-a-community-in-an-unexpected-place.
What I like about the online community in Twitch is that you can interact in the community through a chat function (meaning you’re not on camera or speaking) and it's a live stream. You don't have to stay very long or say anything. This community that my husband and I are a part of is a lot of fun and (mostly) positive. It’s truly been a gift. And I know that it will be one of the ways that we will thrive over the holiday season. We're already planning like special longer streams over the holidays when we're not working.
I am also blessed to have an online community for my business with USANA. I’ve been partnered with USANA Health Sciences for almost 16 years and I’ve never seen people come together in this way. We have a one hour Power Hour, every weekday with business partners from across North America. It’s a combination of fitness, mindset, meditation and daily business challenges. Network marketing is often a very lonely profession. With in person meeting and events cancelled for the foreseeable future, this daily Power Hour has been a Godsend.
Find your online community and show up. Get to know the people in your community and contribute when you can. We need human connections, and this can be achieved, even if you’re not sitting in the same room.
For those who listen to the podcast, you may have noticed a theme over the last few episodes. We've been talking about pure love, loving other human beings and unconditional love. In the episode I did with Jared Crebs (78 - What if I Told You it Was All About Your Mindset?) he shares a book that has had a great impact on my mindset. The book is The Greatest Manifestation Principle in the World by Carnelian Sage.
In a more recent episode, 88 - When You Bring Love First, Magic Happens with Alana Fulvio, we talk about love and choosing love whenever possible. Of course, that goes along with being kind to others. I’ve been doing a love meditation before I go to sleep, where I focus on being as loving as possible. And then I imagine a sphere of beautiful white light, that's filled with love, and I send it out into the Universe.
Gratitude is trending right now. And that makes me feel amazing because the more we talk about gratitude and finding gratitude in these challenging times, the more the vibration of our world will shift. There is a lot of fear right now and a lot of uncertainty, as I said, do we want to survive or thrive?
From now until the end of the year, I want us to THRIVE!
Gratitude MUST be a part of it. And I know many of you here already have a gratitude practice and I invite you to go deeper with that practice over the next few weeks. One gratitude habit we can all adopt is noticing around the things around us that we are taking for granted. When we feel like so many things have been taken away from us right now, gratitude for what we ALREADY have is critical.
Let’s focus on gratitude for the fact that 3.7 billion people in the world have access to the internet and that we are all connected thanks to the internet.
Friends, I am so excited to wrap up this year with you to share with you many more great podcasts interviews and blog posts. I am coming up to my first year anniversary of the Wake Up With Gratitude podcast and I cannot wait to celebrate that milestone with you! I love you. I am so grateful for you. And I just want you to know that I'm here for you. If you're struggling and you're you feel alone, I'm here. Please reach out, send me a message and I will be there for you.
*Choose to stay healthy and support your immune system with pharmaceutical grade nutritional supplements from USANA Health Sciences. This link takes you to my online shop, where you’ll be able to order safely and securely and have the supplements shipped to your front door in your local currency. I earn a small commission on all orders placed using this link: bit.ly/HealthyPandemicLife.