4 New Mindsets to Survive the Holidays.

4 New Mindsets to Survive the Holidays.
Photo by Jonathan Borba / Unsplash

It's hard to believe the year is almost over. The holidays will be here before you know it. But before you start planning your family dinners, office parties, checking flight options, and putting up your decorations, take a moment to check your mindset.

The holidays are an excellent opportunity to align ourselves with the blessings that God has in store for us, surpassing our expectations. To help, here are four mindsets that will not only help you navigate this holiday season but also help you thrive.

Mindset #1: Good is good enough.

I'm in the process of embracing imperfection—it's a muscle I'm actively working on, one that I believe gets stretched and pushed, leaving me a bit sore the next day. As we all gear up for the holidays, there's this tendency to set the bar impossibly high, only to end up feeling disheartened when our celebrations fall short.

Have you ever found yourself putting on a bit of a "show" when unwrapping a gift, worried that your reaction needs to meet certain expectations? It's almost like there's a script, and deviating from it might send the wrong message. Before you dive into the preparations, consider acknowledging that things may not unfold exactly as planned—and that's perfectly okay.

I'm discovering that imperfection is not just acceptable but also healthy and entirely normal. For individuals like me, it might require a bit of practice. So, this holiday season, let's view it as an opportunity to stretch that imperfection muscle. Let's allow good to be good enough this year.

Mindset #2: Responding with kindness is a choice.

You cannot change the stresses that come with the holiday season, but you can change how you respond.

  • When I come across someone with a sour attitude during the holiday season, I frequently remind myself that they might be going through some form of suffering. This realization helps soften my frustration and serves as a gentle reminder that their demeanor is not a personal affront.
  • Keep in mind that the holidays are especially difficult for those who are alone. See if you can extend an act of kindness to those you know are without family and friends during this time of year.
  • Should the inevitable happen and tensions arise with someone, take a moment to breathe. Those few breaths can often create a shift in your mind.

Mindset #3: The things that matter are not things.

Amidst the chaos of long lines and congested traffic during the holidays, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. In those moments of hustle and bustle, consider the following:

  • Pause and ask yourself: Where does this moment fit in the grand scheme of things? If you find yourself frustrated by the seemingly endless grocery line, remind yourself that it's just that—a temporary inconvenience. Don't let it taint your entire afternoon.
  • Can you transform this frustration into an opportunity for reflection? While the cashier diligently attends to the customers ahead of you, take a moment to appreciate the positive aspects of your day or express gratitude for things that have gone well.
  • Even in the midst of what appears to be a stressful moment, can you uncover a way to make it more pleasant? Perhaps connect with someone else in line through a compliment or a kind gesture. Alternatively, view your surroundings with fresh eyes and an open mind, discovering the hidden beauty or interesting details that may have escaped your notice before.

Mindset #4: The new me begins today.

Here is a little life hack for New Year's resolutions: your fresh start comes from your mind, not a calendar page. New year resolutions really put the pressure on. When people make a mistake or a small misstep, they feel so bad because they’ve promised themselves it was going to be a new year and a fresh start. But really, it’s just an arbitrary date!

Your enthusiasm for pursuing goals on January 1st is the same as it is right now. You don't need to wait for a new year; there's a hidden month at the end of the year to work towards the new you. Your aspirations in faith, family, career, and mindset can begin immediately.

Consider these two mini-tips to accomplish your goals:

  1. Start small: Break down your goal into smaller, manageable steps throughout the year. For example, if your goal is weight loss, begin by incorporating more vegetables into your diet in the first month and gradually reduce sweets in the following months.
  2. Be kind to yourself: If you didn't achieve last year's resolution or deviated from your path this time around, let it go. Creating narratives like "I'm never going to quit smoking!" only adds to our distress. With practice, you can recognize self-criticism, release negativity, and resume your goals without guilt or shame.