“Some people walk in the rain. Others just get wet.”Roger Miller
This is a quote that I love.
This reminds me that no matter how difficult times are right now, there are certain things in our control. Like the approach that we take, our mindset, and therefore our response to that situation.
I remember years ago when we were still struggling with our daughter’s health issues and she was not having different kinds of foods. I didn’t have anyone to guide me at the time with her diet and I was doing my best in following certain diets and experiments based on my research.
We were planning to travel towards the end of the year. It proved to be a bi challenge for us as a family to enjoy the festivities because of the dietary restrictions.
But I was very clear that food was medicine and would help her recover, which it did eventually.
Also, the good thing was that as a parent, I consciously chose to focus on all the things that were going well for us. I chose to be grateful for the fact that the medication she was on at the time was helping to keep her eczema under control. I was thankful that we had the means to travel and look forward to enjoying ourselves as a family.
At the same time, it was really hard. Especially because of the festive season and all the special occasions that came with it.
I know how hard it is to stay on track and avoid foods that you know are not right for your body. Even staying off alcohol and desserts becomes much harder when you are surrounded by them.
So I decided to share 3 ways that can help you to enjoy your holidays under these circumstances and look forward to the year to come
Your mindset makes a huge difference!
While there are always things that are beyond our control, we can save a lot of energy and feel happier when we change a few things in our lives.
Starting with the approach that we take.
We will only notice all the things that are missing from our lives and all the goodies that we are unable to enjoy. As a result not really be able to be truly present in the festivities around us. However, when we adopt a different approach, everything changes!
3 simple ways to enjoy the holidays
If you are dealing with any kind of chronic health condition, these 3 changes will help you to enjoy your holidays and prepare yourself for the new year.
“The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences and like Teflon for positive ones. ”Rick Hanson
- CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
Our brains are wired for negativity.
Simply put, our brains have developed to be on the lookout for any kind of danger over millions of years of evolution. This is known as “negativity bias”. I have written more about it in an earlier post.
However, this very evolutionary adaptation works against us in our modern environments. As a result, we end up glossing over the good stuff in our life and focusing on all the negativity.
Becoming aware of this and learning how to constantly shift your focus is the key to changing the way you perceive your current situation. This allows you to move from feeling “deprived” and move towards appreciating all the things that you have going for you.
However, this kind of awareness grows only when we take the time to create space for this, which leads me to the second point, SELF REFLECTION
- SELF REFLECTION
This time of the year is a good time to carve out some space to practice some self reflection.
This practice can help you at any time of the year really but is particularly useful to take stock of your life as the year comes to an end
You can think about
- What’s gone well this year
- What’s not worked out for you or what went wrong
- What challenges did you overcome this year?
- What specifically helped you to deal with and overcome the challenges?
- What did you learn about yourself this year?
- What are you planning to let go of in the new year?
- In what ways can I support your body next year?
Taking out this time for this kind of reflection allows you to get to know yourself better.
And finally, the most powerful tool of them all, having a regular gratitude practice.
Practicing gratitude on a daily basis is possibly the most powerful and effective way of tapping into the tremendous health benefits that come along with it.
According to Robert Emmons, psychology professor and gratitude researcher at UC, Davis there are two main components of gratitude. One is affirmation and the other, is recognition.
One, we affirm the good things that we have received as a gift from sources outside of us, and two, we also acknowledge the role that others play in bringing it about for us.
There are many health benefits that have been shown to be linked with gratitude such as
- Increased happiness and positive mood
- More satisfaction in life
- Less likely to experience burnout
- Better sleep
- Less fatigue
- Greater resiliency
And finally, gratitude allows you to tap into your inner reservoir of joy.
Taking the time to cultivate a gratitude practice allows you to focus on and be present for all the good in your life. These are the “gifts”, the “blessings” and even the “unexpected positive surprises” that are a part of your life.
However, this requires that you consciously train your mind to be open to noticing and “receiving” these into your life. If you would like to know more about how to do this, you can read my post.
You can also read this book.
I hope that these suggestions offer you a way of coping with the holidays and finding a way to enjoy them.
More importantly, I hope that these practices help you find hope for a healthier and brighter future!