Feeling unhappy around the holidays? You’re not alone. And if you deal with SAD, it can be doubly hard to celebrate the season. These feelings can be compounded by the notion that you’re “wasting” or missing out on the good times we think the holidays should bring.
You don’t need parties, gatherings, and tons of gifts to feel a bit merrier. If you want to celebrate the holidays, but aren’t sure where to start, here are some ideas.
Over the years, scientific research has repeatedly shown that holiday decorations put us in a better mood. There are a few reasons why holiday decorations can help us feel better.
First, there’s nostalgia. Putting up familiar or traditional decorations can evoke fond memories of your favorite holiday. Even if this year feels very different, you’ll have cheerful reminders of happy times.
Next, there’s control. Decorating for the holidays gives you creative license to do something whimsical or happy, and if it’s something you do ritualistically (every year) that makes you feel like you have even more power in your life.
As a bonus, holiday decorations on the exterior of your home can make us appear friendlier to others. If the current climate has you feeling isolated and you could at least use a little neighborly, socially-distanced interaction, holiday decorations are a great way to put yourself out there.
Make Celebrations Ceremonial
One of the earliest intended purposes of singing bowls was ceremony. Instead of crowded holiday parties, ring in the season with the song of a singing bowl. Even in the modern West, singing bowls are used in celebrations and rituals at yoga, meditation, and spiritual retreats.
Enjoy a singing bowl meditation before proceeding to your very own tea ceremony. Host your own at-home yoga “retreat” where you can find stillness, sweat it out, or simply set your intention for the rest of the season.
No matter how you do it, Silent Mind can assure you that singing bowls make any day or event feel much more special.
Practice Gratitude and Invite Peace
The word “celebrate” makes us think of upbeat songs, dancing, confetti - the works. But the feeling of celebration shares a lot in common with things like peace and gratitude. All three are personally fulfilling and only truly experienced in the present moment.
So, challenge your perception of what a celebration looks like. Maybe what your body and mind need to “celebrate” the season are relaxation and quiet. Celebrate yourself by lightening the load of your schedule and appreciating solitude.
For every one thing you think is missing from your holiday celebrations, write down three things you are grateful for. Celebrating what you already have doesn’t always sound exciting, but it feels like the real thing because it is.
How are the holidays different for you this year? Have you come up with any unique ways to celebrate in changing or uncertain times? Share your favorite ways to celebrate in the comments, and have the happiest holiday you can.