Approaching The Holidays with Grace
Sometimes in the business of the holidays, we forget to be grateful. A grateful spirit is the cornerstone of a successful and happy holiday season. In this blog, I’ll share some ideas for how you can establish a grateful and receptive mindset, easily.
For the next few weeks, let’s focus on gratitude. When you wake up in the morning, I challenge you to stop for a moment and collect your thoughts. Using a small journal, or a loose sheet of paper, write down three things you are thankful for. You can write about any three things. Maybe you are thankful for a family member, for a period of growth, or for a specific object, like a fuzzy blanket or a cozy sweater.
You can write as little or as much as you would like about each object. There is no right or wrong way to start a gratitude journal. It is the intention that matters. As you write, think about why you are grateful. How does that grateful energy soothe and comfort you?
If you want to get more involved in journaling, you can view this guide on positive psychological exercises. Why is gratitude journaling effective? When you start the day with an open, grateful heart, you set the stage for positivity.
Giving & Receiving Openly
The hustle and the bustle of the holidays can sometimes make us forget what is important. In our western world, we sometimes feel pressured to give expensive gifts to show our love and appreciation for others. There are so many heartfelt ways to give. Giving should not be draining, either emotionally or financially. It should be a joyful experience!
Consider writing a loving note. These little keepsakes can mean just as much as a material object. One of the most beautiful gifts I have ever received is a handwritten letter from a friend who shared how much I meant to them. I will keep that letter forever!
A way that I show my love is through food. I love to cook for those I care about. If you can’t think of a gift to give, why not find a dish to cook? My Healthy Holidays recipe book (located under the “Eat” section of the “Healthy Holidays” membership module) has lots of tasty ideas for tummy and heart-filling food.
When it comes to receiving a gift, we need to open our hearts and allow our gratitude to shine. Receive openly!
To receive openly, avoid saying things like:
● “You didn’t have to do that.”
● “I don’t deserve this.”
● “I didn’t want you to go out of your way”
When someone gives you a gift, it is because they value you and want to provide you with a tangible object or an expenditure of energy that symbolizes that love. Regardless of if they give you a handwritten poem on a scrap of paper, offer you some much-needed support, make you a homemade meal, or give you an item of jewelry, they are sharing their love with you. Receive it with equal love and energy.
The same is true for receiving compliments, which are a gift in themselves. Realize that the complement is a gentle show of support. Say thank you and allow yourself how to savor the compliment instead of shrugging it away. Remember that you are enough and are worthy of love.
Can Expressing Gratitude, Giving Openly, & Receiving Wholly Change Your Holiday Experience?
It may seem simple, but when we reframe what the holiday season is about and focus on the positives, we can change the way we view the holidays. Instead of being a mad dash toward a calendar date, our holiday season can be filled with joy, love, grace, and gratitude. I am thankful for so many things, including God, my life’s work, and you.
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Brandy Lane Hickman, NBHWC
2B Well Integrative Health Collaborative, Owner Inspired Nutrition, National Board Certified Health Coach, Kitchen Therapy
Board President, Missouri Nutrition Alliance Non-Profit