We’ve all experienced that seasonal moodiness that comes with the overwhelming, cold, and transitionary characteristics of the festive last few months of the year. Each day may feel like a weight, but these 7 helpful tips from our fave spiritual and ritualistic mentor Barbara Biziou, will help you lighten the load and invite positivity into your life.

1. Be aware of your feelings. You may feel sad during the holidays if someone close to you has recently passed away or you are physically far away from family and friends. You don’t have to pretend to be happy, however. Once you acknowledge your feelings, you then have the freedom to move on and focus on other things.  Volunteering at a soup kitchen, your local church or a temple is a great way to re-focus & shift your feelings.

 2Be flexible. Things change, and we have to change with them to stay in the flow of life. Include some of your favorite traditions this holiday and then be open to creating new ones. Maybe your sister is now a vegetarian and you include a Tofurkey along with the traditional one, or you Skype in your cousin in France at the table who cannot make it home.

3. Do not overspend. Use this year to find simple ways to enjoy the holidays without going into debt. Creating more debt will add to the stress you are already feeling. Remember it is the spirit of giving that counts, not the dollar amount of the gift.

4. Do some simple relaxation exercises. Try doing a simple math problem in your head for 6-8 seconds, moving your body into an easy yoga pose, or going for a brisk walk outdoors in nature. Plan in rest stops and alone time during your (holi)days so you will not be burnt out.

5. Set boundaries. If you never say no, your yes will never mean anything. If you don’t treat yourself as valuable, no one else will either. This can cause you to either “stuff” your feelings down within and become resentful or blow up and explode unintentionally. Learn to delegate – you don’t have to do everything by yourself!

6. Laugh and do things that bring you joy. When you laugh, your brain releases neurotransmitters like dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin, which make you feel happy and content.

7. Give up being a perfectionist! Stop comparing yourself to others or measuring your success by impossible standards, including those of your family members.

 

 

Barbara Biziou is an expert in practical spirituality and the practices of “ritual fusion” which have helped guide and support many to a path of success through healing and transformation.

Author of The Joy of Ritual and The Joy of Family Rituals. Founder of BarbaraBiziou.com. Instagram: @barbarabiziou