Cultivating Holiday Joy

Cultivating Holiday Joy

Smile More.  Even if you have to fake it until you make it, smiling has been shown in studies to actually decrease stress and make people happier!
Unplug. Take a break from the news, the games, the movies, and the social medias. Be present and aware of everything around you. Maybe even get out a good old board game or deck of cards! 
Really Listen. Whether the family has been apart for months or just hours, take some time to really listen to what they have to say.  Did you miss something about the way a conversation started? How is the person your talking to feeling about what they are saying? Did you learn anything new? Getting trapped in our own perceptions and opinions can block us from really hearing what is being said.  Be present.
Experience Taste. We taste our first 2-3 bites the most, so really relish in those first few bites. Look at the food, smell it, slowly chew and savor the textures and flavors.  Breathe in between bites and think about the energy it took to prepare such a meal. Have gratitude.
Move Your Body.  Don't get stuck on the recliner or parked next to the dessert table! Move your body.  Change positions from standing to sitting from time to time.  If the weather permits, get out for a short walk.  Take a minute to stretch out or help out with the dishes.  Or how about putting on some music and dancing? You know the kids will love it ;)