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Reframing the Holiday Season: 6 Ways to Refocus on What Matters

If you dread the rush of the holiday season, maybe it's time to reframe your approach and get back to what matters. Whether family is far away, or you're feeling overwhelmed by shopping lists and social obligations, this can be a stressful time. But with a shift in mindset and some creative planning, it’s possible to stay mindful of why these days should feel special, even if things look different this year - focusing on gratitude rather

than exhaustion.

I know what you're thinking. This blog post is too little, too late. You've already purchased gifts. You've already arranged for family visits. You're already amid the holiday anxiety. But it's not too late to reframe and refocus! Here are five tips for finding joy in the chaos during the holidays.

1. Take Time for Yourself: It’s important to make space for rest and relaxation during the holiday season. Make sure you set aside time to do something that brings you joy - reading a book, taking a walk, or painting your nails! Taking just 15 minutes to step away from the holiday rush can help reset your mindset and refocus on what truly matters.

2. Celebrate with Gratitude: Take time each day to pause and reflect on how blessed you are - no matter how challenging this season may feel right now. Writing down three things you’re thankful for is one way to cultivate an attitude of gratitude throughout this hectic season.

3. Connect with Family & Friends Virtually: Even if family members are far away, there are still ways to celebrate together! Schedule virtual gatherings over Zoom or Facetime so everyone can catch up from afar without worrying about travel arrangements. Virtual celebrations are easier on your wallet and give you more control over who will be attending, allowing you to focus on quality time with those closest to your heart instead of feeling obligated by social obligations or gift-giving expectations.

4. Start New Traditions: Many families have traditions passed down through generations, but this year might be an opportunity to create something new! Start by brainstorming ideas with your family or close friends— think movie nights or Zoom game nights —and make plans that work best for all involved while still keeping some sense of normalcy during this unique holiday season.

Photo taken at The Ruby Hotel
Photo taken at The Ruby Hotel

5. Shop Small & Support Local Businesses: Shopping locally is always appreciated, especially now when many small businesses need our support more than ever! Find unique gifts from local vendors who specialize in handmade items, such as jewelry makers, woodworkers, knitters, etc., or order takeout from restaurants nearby that could use extra business during these difficult times – it will help keep people employed & put smiles on faces!

6. Connect With Nature

Spending time in nature is one of my favorite ways to create space and clarity when I'm overwhelmed during the holidays (or any time!). Go outside and take a deep breath; notice how different plants smell; pick up leaves off the ground; go on hikes in your local area - what better way to re-ground yourself?

Reframing our approach to the holidays can help us stay mindful of why these days should feel special - focusing on gratitude rather than exhaustion. With some creative planning ahead of time and meaningful moments spent with loved ones near or far away, hopefully we'll all find joy amidst the chaos for the rest of this holiday season!


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