The holidays are a time when the world may seem jolly and wonderful but not everything is as it seems. If you aren't careful, the most wonderful time of year can quickly turn you into a Scrooge. Here are six behaviors that can quickly destroy your holiday spirit.
Being a victim
When things don't go your way, it's so easy to throw yourself a pity party and wonder "why me?" If your kids are sick, you may wonder why your holiday plans are ruined. If your budget is short, you may blame it on certain financial setbacks you had throughout the year (even though you could have saved some money each month for gifts). Stop complaining and thinking everything is someone else's fault. Instead, accept the situation for what it is and take control.
Friends and family may say comments that can cut you deep. And once those remarks are said, it is easy to dwell on them - even start to believe them. Remember that most of these comments say more about the person than about yourself. When someone makes a comment that hurts, avoid making a rude comment back. It's difficult, but if you find yourself offended by every mean or snide remark, you'll live a life full of grudges, regrets and anger.
Things won't go exactly as planned, that's just a part of the holidays. But if you focus on the negative things surrounding your holidays, you won't find any joy. Instead, look for and concentrate on at least three things that are going well (and things you are grateful for) each day. There is always something good happening in your life, even if it seems difficult to find.
The holidays are all about delicious meals, cookies, candy and desserts. And while it is important to indulge and enjoy these delicious treats, avoid overeating. Overeating will not only make you sick, but it can provide a lot of guilt, especially if you are trying to lose weight or maintain your waist line. Studies also show that overeating can have a significant impact on your body image and may eventually lead to depression and other mental illnesses. To help avoid overeating this holiday season, follow these suggestions:
Drink lots of water.
Choose your treats wisely. Only eat treats that you truly enjoy.
Be mindful of your fruit and vegetable intake and make sure you eat more nutritionally dense foods than cookies and cakes.
Stick with a fitness routine.
Maybe you had a difficult year or have taken care of all the holiday preparations, singlehandedly. In many situations, you may believe that people owe you something, that you deserve an extra present or you shouldn't have to do anything on Christmas. Feelings of entitlement can cause you to become arrogant, selfish and angry. Remember that feelings of entitlement are simply self-serving. The best way to overcome them is to serve and focus on others. Look at the joy your hard work is bringing to your family. Look for opportunities to help others in your community. Be aware of feelings of entitlement to overcome them.
Gratitude is essential to a joy-filled holiday and a joyful life. In fact, individuals who express their gratitude are more patient, have better relationships, sleep better and have better mental and physical health. The holidays are a wonderful time to express your gratitude for all the big and small things in your life. If you're having a hard time, maybe try writing in a gratitude journal or try expressing gratitude for someone every day. The holidays are a perfect time to establish a habit of being more gracious.
There are countless ways you can destroy the holidays for yourself and your family. But, by being mindful of your own behavior, maintaining a positive attitude, and rejoicing in the holiday spirit, you're sure to have a jolly time.
Courtnie is an editor for FamilyShare.com and has a degree in journalism. She has a slight obsession with running, newspapers and large fuzzy blankets. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons.