Lauren Cook

Ever heard the song, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” on the radio? Do you think of crazy shoppers and cookies gone wrong rather than what the song is really about it—how it truly can be the most wonderful time of the year? It is so easy to get caught up in the madness that this time of year can bring if we’re not careful. It can be such a pivotal time of year—a season where we experience stress, chaos, and disappointment, or it can be an opportunity to reflect on the splendid little moments of the past 12 months and cherish time with family. The holidays will inevitably come this year (like they do every year) so we can choose to greet them with gratitude or we can wish them away—it’s our choice.

Here’s a few ways to enhance your holiday season:

  1. Say “yes” to making plans:You don’t have to do everything on your list this year, but encourage yourself to celebrate with friends. Sometimes the hardest part is just getting out the door—once you’re there, you’ll be glad that you participated. And if you’re looking for inspiration? Pinterest has a wealth of ideas to get you out there and enjoying this time of year.
  1. Say “no” when it’s too much: This is a good time of year to practice our boundaries. Whether it comes to that third cookie or the 10th holiday party, there are limits to how much you can do. It’s all about balance and no matter how much FOMO creeps on you, you can say no. This has to be a season of self-care and you have the right to pick and choose what you participate in.
  1. Think like a child: The holidays can lose their magic when you start seeing it like a grown-up—aka a lot of money, obligations, and small talk. But if you start seeing this time of year like a kid—a time filled with wonder and surprise—the holidays will take on that same excitement you had when you were little. And if you’re feeling like Scrooge regardless, spend some time with your little cousins and family members to bring that smile back.
  1. Keep the traditions: I think you’ll find yourself looking forward to the season more if you have the comfort of knowing what to expect. In our home, we always have the classic tree decorating, the formal Christmas Eve dinner, and the Christmas day spectacle of watching everyone open their presents. Traditions don’t have to be elaborate but knowing that you have something to look forward to and count on makes all the difference.
  1. Be open to change: This can be the hardest one to accept. The transition from childhood to adulthood can be a tough one when it comes to the holidays. Our traditions can be comforting and adapting to new events, people, and places can be jarring. Remember though that change can bring about even better outcomes than what we’ve done previously—all we have to do is stay open minded in the process.

I hope this truly is the most wonderful time of the year for you as we prepare to adjourn 2016. You deserve happiness and love and I wish you nothing but peace and joy.

All the best,
Lauren Cook

 

Learn more about keynote speaker, Lauren Cook and her story: campuspeak.com/cook