It’s the most wonderful time of the year, (are you singing it yet?) but for some of us, the Christmas break and especially the run-up to it can quickly become stressful and overwhelming. Liz and I frequently remind our friends and clients that the best way to reduce stress and improve their overall well-being is to focus on being kind to others.
Here are a few simple ways to spread kindness and joy during the Christmas period:
- Share a kind word. A simple compliment or word of encouragement can go a long way in lifting someone’s spirits. It doesn’t have to be in person, either – share a post, send an emoji, add a comment. Daily acts of kindness, such as expressing gratitude to a friend or loved one can go a long way in making them and you feel better. Boosting your own mood and sense of well-being in the process.
- Pay it forward. If someone does something kind for you, in fact, we’d go as far as saying even if they DON’T, consider paying it forward by doing something kind for someone else. This can be as simple as buying a cup of coffee for the person behind you in the queue or volunteering at a local shelter or donating items to a food bank. We encourage our clients to engage in acts of kindness and generosity, as these actions not only help build a sense of connection and community but can also improve mental and emotional well-being. If everyone on the receiving end of an act of kindness paid it forward would it go around the entire world??
- Show gratitude. This time of year can be overwhelmingly filled with consuming and buying so don’t forget to express gratitude for the people and things in your life that you are thankful for. Write a thank-you note, send a thoughtful text, or simply take a moment to appreciate the good things in your life. Remembering practising gratitude is a way to shift focus from what is perceived to be lacking in your own life, to what you already have. Gratitude can help improve our mood, reduce stress, and increase overall happiness and well-being. Win-win.
- Be inclusive. The Christmas holiday can be a difficult time for those who are alone or feeling left out. Not everyone is getting ready to enjoy the typical family get-together and roast dinner with all the trimmings. If you are able, make an effort to include others and help them to feel valued and welcome. Invite a neighbour over for a drink and a mince pie, or perhaps you could consider including a co-worker in your holiday plans. It might sound like the makings of a rom-com movie, but we frequently remind clients to build and maintain strong social connections because these relationships are an important source of support and can help improve our overall well-being.
- Be patient. The holiday season can be hectic! It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of visiting and present buying and unwrapping and of course, eating! Remember to be patient with others though, and try to stay calm and positive even in the face of the inevitable holiday stress. Liz and I often remind our clients that self-compassion and self-care are crucial for managing stress and maintaining overall well-being. Take some time for yourself, breathe, and remember to be kind to yourself as well as others.
By focusing on kindness and spreading joy, you can help make the next few weeks a little brighter for yourself and for those around you – but remember, a kind word or deed isn’t just for Christmas!
Merry Christmas to all of our clients, friends and family.
Here’s to a kinder 2023!
Jo and Liz @Equacoaching