‘Tis the season of being industrious. Kids are back at school, people are hard at work, preparing for the upcoming holiday season, taking time off for vacation, and working to meet end of year deadlines.
It’s also the time of year where stress and overwork can set in. The shorter days and colder weather may make us more tempted to hunker down inside, work longer hours, and neglect the more fun parts of life.
While this tendency to focus and be productive in many ways advances our goals, if we don’t take time for ourselves, we can feel stressed, depressed, and overall lackluster about our lives.
While the year — and even the day — ebbs and flows in terms of productivity and energy levels, you can safeguard yourself against the feelings of burnout.
When things feel easy, life flows more smoothly. The stressful experiences are more likely to roll off your back when you feel confident you can access the good times again at any moment.
When you start feeling crazed or overwhelmed, you can maintain a sense of flow with little effort.
Here are 10 ways to add more ease and joy into your everyday life.
1. Learn to let things go. The easiest way to get back into the flow is to let the negative things go. Whether it’s a bad day, a traffic snarl, or a fight with a friend, accept it for what it is, and then let go. Stay in the present moment and you’ll realize that the ups and downs will come inevitably, but you don’t have to hold on to them.
2. Surrender and trust the process. What percentage of your day is under your control? Probably not the majority. Surrender to those things you have no control of, and instead of fighting against the current, trust that all will work out in your favor in due time.
3. Realize you can choose happiness in any moment. We can’t control what happens to us, but we can control our response. Know that even in the midst of anger, sadness, or frustration, you can always choose again — and choose happiness.
4. Make time to do the things you love. Build in time do at least one thing you love every day and keep it interesting. One day you might set aside an hour to read a new book you’ve been eyeing. Another day, you get a massage after work or cook a favorite meal.
5. Meditate or journal. Both meditation and journaling help you clear your mind and open yourself up to new possibilities. Taking 10 minutes to write your feelings down or sit in silence can help you create inner peace in an otherwise stressful environment.
6. Be who you are. It takes a lot more energy and effort to be someone you’re not. Show up as yourself wherever you go and it lessens the stress considerably.
7. Take care of yourself. Self-care is an important and (unfortunately) often sacrificed habit when we become busy. But in order to show up and care for others, you must take time to recharge and replenish yourself.
8. Don’t take anything personally. When others around you are stressed, they can unknowingly take it out on you. Shrug it off and realize that other people’s emotions has nothing to do with you. It’s not about you.
9. Focus on what you want. Worrying can get the best of us and cause things to spiral out of control into a stressful situation (one that hasn’t even happened yet!) Instead of worrying about the future, focus on the good you are experiencing in the present.
10. Keep your perspective. When things feel too heavy, you can always stop and ask yourself, “Will this matter in 10 years?” Even if it does matter, is it possible you are catastrophizing anything? Adopting a realistic perspective can lighten your mood considerably.
I’d love to hear from you: What do you do to regain ease and joy when you’re feeling stressed?
Want your own personalized self-care plan to get yourself through the holidays with ease and joy? It’s possible! Schedule a session with me today.