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The Holidays: Finding Joy

Updated: Apr 16, 2020

The holidays are my absolute favourite time of year. I feel like people are a little bit nicer, generosity is in the air and there’s an active sense of people prioritizing family and joy. It’s the time of year that reminds us to show gratitude and spend time with our family, friends and loved ones.

And of course there’s the added bonus of sparkles, twinkly lights and hot drinks.

I’ve been in a bit of a funk since September and have been wondering why it’s been trailing on for so long. It’s frustrating to think that I’m so lucky to be where I am today and I should be absolutely beaming all the time and yet I’m still sad! While my stress levels spiked with school (I forgot what writing papers was like, and my classes love to focus on difficult matters like art censorship and the horrors of war) and a personal relationship fell to pieces, I still have so much to be grateful for.

So I’m dubbing this holiday season the season of self-care: where I will get my crap together and get back to my normal self.

Step 1: Drink lots of lattes (possibly while wearing mittens)

Baby it’s cold outside and I love me a hot caffeinated beverage. While I tend to order a coffee because it’s cheaper, I say treat-yourself (by spending $1.25 more)! I'm not picky where I get my lattes but I like supporting smaller businesses, so if I can find a cute cafe - that's where I'll be.

Step 2: When your thoughts are starting to spiral - think of others

ie. It’s time to think of not only cost-effective but also considerate gifts for my loved ones. I’m in school and I don’t have the largest budget to spend on gifts. But guess what? Cost doesn’t equal value! Putting a large amount of thought into finding the perfect gift that fits the giftee is the most important part of gift-giving.

Another option is to spend time with others. I often forget that people want to hang out (it’s my introverted side), so planning a day trip to visit a Christmas-y market downtown is a great way to re-align my thoughts with what matters: friends!

Thirdly, I love to write thoughtful holiday cards for everyone in my life. In my undergrad, I wrote one for everyone in my class - and to my surprise, it made quite a large impact! People love to know they’ve been thought of and when I write a card, I always try to include specific meaningful moments I’ve shared with that person along with general well-wishes.

Step 3: Decorate

Surprisingly, I don’t go too too wild with the holiday decorations. But I like to light a scented candle and I put up a felted garland to add a little festive to my space. Adding little touches to your own environment will help brighten the shortened (and darker - the sun's setting at 4 pm here) days of wintertime.

Step 4: Create

I think with everything going on in life, I forgot to take the time to process things for myself. Writing is a great outlet, as well as art for me. So I’m going to make an active effort to use those outlets on a regular basis so I don’t let thoughts pile up in my brain. Since I’ll be in school less, I’ll have a little more time to focus on that!

How are you planning on spending this holiday season? Are you making time for loved ones or going on a trip to a sunny place?

I hope you’re having the best time either way!

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