Christmas might look a little bit different this year, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.
It is not uncommon to get a bit carried away with Christmas gifts, especially for the children and grandchildren, but after months of being separated from our loved ones we have realised that there are better ways to show affection than through material items.
2020 has caused many of us to have a massive viewpoint shift and take a closer look at how we are living our lives and ask if this way of living is making us happy.
As Christmas approaches, it is time to take what we have learned this year and use it to not only have a more meaningful festive season, but a more purposeful life in general.
Here are three ways to apply the lessons we have learned this year to the upcoming festive season.
1: Make note of what you actually find important.
Life’s importance’s act as an anchor to keep us grounded. Because of this, if you don’t make a conscious effort to clearly define what really matters to you, it becomes easy to get lost.
Take a few minutes to write down what really matters to you, and do this without judgement.
It could be your family, spouse, a hobby, volunteer work or a side hustle you would like to expand upon. It might even be something as simple as taking time out during your day to sit alone with a cup of tea.
Once you have noted down what matters, consider whether the way you’re living now is allowing you to make time for these things on a regular basis.
You may realise that other things are getting in the way of the things that matter to you and you may need to reassess the way you’re spending your time.
Perhaps you’ve been working too much or have some unhealthy habits that are getting in the way of things.
Rather than feel bad about this, see this realisation as an opportunity to make some positive changes that will allow you to spend more time with the people you love and doing things that make you truly fulfilled and happy.
This may mean making a few tough decisions, but it will benefit you tenfold in the long run.
2: Switch to a gratitude mindset.
Oh how easy it is to focus on the doom and gloom!
It’s not our fault really. We have evolved to focus on the dangers of our world, which is something that has been vital in helping us survive.
These days, it is highly unlikely you will be eaten by a lion, but the persistent negative focus remains.
By making an active effort to focus on the things we are grateful for, we can help shift our negative way of thinking into one that is more positive.
A gratitude journal is a fantastic way to make this way of thinking a habit, and the best part is, the more you focus on the positive, the more of it you see.
Every night before you go to sleep, take a moment to write down a few things you were grateful for that day.
It could be something as simple as having a roof over your head, a nice meal, taking your shoes off after a long day or seeing a loved one smile.
You may notice after keeping the journal for a while that you actively notice these little moments during the course of your day.
When you’re feeling down, flipping through the journal and looking back on what you have written will remind you of all the wonderful things in the world that you are grateful for.
3: Consider others.
This year we had a lot of time for introspection as many of us spent more time alone than we may have in the past.
It can be very easy to become so wrapped up in what we are doing that we can sometimes forget that others are also going through struggles of their own.
Although it is incredibly important to be aware of yourself, your feelings, health and mental well-being, it is also important that we keep an eye out for others too.
Imagine how much of a better place the world would be if we all did one selfless deed a day.
We all have unique gifts, and the world needs them now more than ever, so if you have ever considered taking part in volunteer work, now is the time to do it.
By considering others, you are not only meeting their needs in that moment, but you are giving them hope that someone out there cares enough to spend time helping them when they needed it, and hope is one of the greatest gifts you can give someone.
By realising what is important to us, practicing gratitude and helping others, we can ensure that we move through life in a way that is more mindful of ourselves and others.