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Be intentional about finding joy this season

Be intentional about finding joy this season

There’s no doubt the holidays bring special joys and celebrations.  They also bring special forms of pressure and challenge.  Here are some thoughts to keep your mind, body, and spirit in harmony as your move through this holiday season.

First, celebrate! Think of the wonderful opportunities you have to generate joy and happiness during these festive times.  Gratefulness for others, generosity between humans, goodwill toward others—these are causes for genuine celebration.  Add to that the beauty of the seasons and the reasons that we pause to observe them, and you have tremendous reasons to celebrate.

Secondly, give yourself and others limits.  One challenge some folks encounter is their inability to say “no” to others when requests or invitation are made, even when saying “yes” brings difficulty.  If you have found that some requests are just too difficult for you—too much time, too much money, too much emotional effort—learn to say “no.”  Though it may be hard at first, saying no can be a liberating, freeing experience, and it will help your mind, body, and spirit come into alignment so you can enjoy some of those celebrations.  It’s a new way to say “yes” to you.

Thirdly, attend to problems right away. If you’re like many folks, you might be inclined to put off dealing with difficult issues.  For some, dealing with a problem seems insurmountable.  Here’s an opportunity to put problems in a different perspective—to reframe them—so that you can attend to them.

Instead of seeing them as impossible blockages, approach them as opportunities for growth and change.  Some questions you might ask in order to find growth for yourself might be, “Did I do anything to contribute to this issue?  If so, what was it?  How can I change that for myself?  What can I learn so I don’t make the same mistake again?”  When we take this stance, we find that we are actually giving ourselves the great holiday gifts of goodwill, self-forgiveness, openness to the future, and strength.

Finally, relax!   When times are stressful—and holidays are—it’s important for us to remember to take time to relax and meditate.  Choose some times to relax intentionally.  Finding even five minutes to slow down, to breathe deeply, and to give ourselves permission to relax can move us on the way of better health.  If you can expand your relaxation sessions to 20 minutes twice a day, you can actually lower your adrenalin production by 50 percent for an entire 24-hour period.  Find a quiet place, concentrate on your breathing, focus on something that brings you happiness, and share some kind thoughts with yourself.

Here’s hoping that this holiday season is full of joy and light for you!

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Comments

12 Comments

  1. Good advice for a hectic time of year!

  2. Sonja Reece

    We all need the reminder that it is okay to say “no” in certain situations. Then we can fully invest ourselves in those areas where we say “yes”.

  3. THE THOUGHT THAT SAYING “NO” TO OTHERS, IS A “YES” TO YOURSELF, IS VERY REASSURING. I HAVE NEVER CONSIDERED THAT. WE WANT TO GIVE THE BEST TO OUR LOVED ONES, AND SOMETIMES THAT COMES AS A COST TO US, AND THE COST IS NOT ALWAYS MONETARY. BEFORE YOU REALIZE IT. YOU HAVE WASTED THE HOLIDAY. THE KEY IS TO DO WHAT YOU CAN, AND FORGET THE REST.

    • Rev. Dr. Karrie Oertli

      Hello, Lattie. Thank you for your comment. I agree! It’s easy to see the holidays wasted because of our fretting. I like your comment about giving our best to those we love. I pray that will be so for you this holiday and throughout the year.

  4. Great advice-thanks for sharing….

  5. The holidays are supposed to be a happy time of giving and sharing with our loved ones. However, many of us are so stressed out about Christmas shopping, cooking, etc. to enjoy it at all! Great advice!

    • Rev. Dr. Karrie Oertli

      Thanks, Olivia! You are so right. I pray that you will find a richness in the giving and sharing that you do during this season and into the new year!

  6. This is great advice. Thank you so much for the reminder!

    • Rev. Dr. Karrie Oertli

      You’re welcome, Tim, and thanks for the comment. Blessings to you in this holiday season and in the year to come!

About the Author

Rev. Dr. Karrie Oertli
Rev. Dr. Karrie Oertli

The Rev. Dr. Karrie Oertli is the Vice President of Mission & Spiritual Care at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center and Advocate Eureka Hospital in Normal, IL. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University (B.A.), Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.), and Drew University (D.Min.). Dr. Oertli is an ACPE Supervisor with the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education, Inc., a Board Certified Chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains, and a certified mind/body practitioner with The Center for Mind Body Medicine. She is married to the Rev. Dennis Pendleton and has six stepchildren and seven grandchildren.