Christmas is the season of joy and merriment – but it can also bring about stress and anxiety, and can be lonely for many. Statistics show that 51% of women and 35% of men find Christmas a stressful time, and much of this is down to financial worries and the pressure of living up to expectations. Whether related to gift buying, decorating, or providing the family with the perfect feast, there’s no doubt that in today’s world, the run up to Christmas can be more stressful than is necessary.
In this blog, we’re celebrating the small moments of joy you can share with friends and family (and yourself!) that help us all remember the true spirit of the festive season. These moments don’t have to break the bank or include grand gestures – rather, they’re about sharing moments of joy with each other, no matter how big or small.
5 Ways To Share Joy
Remember what ‘joy’ means to you
So often, we prioritise work and productivity over joy and happiness in life. Experiencing ‘joy’ doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money, and it can be experienced in small moments throughout the day. By threading joy through the day, we’re able to feel more uplifted, happier and brighter on a regular basis, and therefore be a source of joy for others. The first place to start when it comes to sharing joy then, is remembering what it means to you. Joy looks different for all of us, so grab The Positive Planner or the All You Need is Love Journal and spend a few moments writing a list of what brings you joy. Perhaps its feeling the sun on your face, sipping a cup of Pukka’s organic ‘joy’ tea in the morning, walking the dogs or cuddling with your kids on the sofa… Make a note of what brings you joy, then commit to bringing it into your day on a regular basis. For more ideas on how to experience joy, read The Joy of Wellbeing: A Practical Guide To A Happy, Healthy & Long Life by Colleen and Jason Wacob, the co-founders of mindbodygreen.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in buying presents at Christmas, whilst forgetting to actually be present with those around us! We can’t share joy if we’re scrolling through social media or constantly checking emails, so dedicate some time to being totally present with those around you. How could you share joy with them and make this season memorable? Can you involve them in what brings you joy, or ask what brings them joy so you can share in it together? Try to dedicate some time throughout the day to being completely present with your children, partner or friends – how can you share joy together?
The Little Box of Self-Care by Suzy Reading provides plenty of ways to stress-proof your body and mind that you can practice with a friend, whilst Slow Seasons by Rosie Steer is a creative guide to reconnecting with the seasons to help you feel more present throughout the year.
Give a meaningful gift
Christmas generates over 100 million bags of rubbish each year in the UK alone, and some of this is even made up of unwanted gifts. Buying gifts can also be a major stressor, and often ends up with us spending a lot more money than is needed. Gift-giving shouldn’t be something that causes stress; it should be a meaningful way to show someone we care, with a thoughtful token.
The School of Life: Small Pleasures book helps guide us to the best of life’s small pleasures and makes a meaningful gift; The Evening Rituals Journal is a companion to help those who need a hand winding down for the night; and the Spritz Wellness Aromatherapy Wheat Bag is perfect to bring some calm to those feeling frazzled this festive season. Filled with a soothing lavender scent, it can be warmed in the microwave and placed over the body, or used as a cold compress.
Share A Smile
The smallest, most simple things can bring others joy – including a simple smile or compliment! Throughout the busy festive season, instead of burying your face in your phone or hurrying past strangers whilst Christmas shopping, try looking up and sharing a smile every so often. Several scientific studies show that when we smile at someone, it lights up areas of their brain that control positive feelings of reward. As a bonus; when we smile, it also makes us feel good too! Large global studies have shown that smiling can make us feel more positive emotions, so spread the joy with your own smile.
Fill your home with the scent of joy by spritzing Tisserand’s Seasonal Joy mist, or use Rupi Kaur’s Gratitude Writing Prompts to evoke curiosity and a deeper connection with yourself, whilst bringing a smile to your face too.
Share Joy With Those In Need
Christmas is the season of goodwill, and whether you volunteer your time, money or talents, sharing joy with those in need can be a truly valuable gift. Think of places within your community that would benefit from a little joy at this time of year and give what you can. Could you donate presents to those unable to afford anything for themselves? Could you offer your time at a food bank, or volunteer with a homeless charity? There are plenty of lists online of where you can volunteer over the holiday season, so have a peek at yours.
Gelong Thubton’s Handbook For Hard Times: A Monk’s Guide To Fearless Living teaches us to understand that happiness, kindness and resilience can be cultivated through reframing life’s difficulties as opportunities for transformation. The Power of Empathy by Michael Tennant also teaches us: Heal yourself, heal the world; an informative and inspirational guide to building a better world through compassion, connection and curiosity.