A close up of a woman in red shoes on steps

For as long as I can remember, I’ve spent Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with my mom and the rest of Christmas with my dad. The holidays are full of traditions in my family (even if they go virtually unnoticed), but this year is the first time that I have absolutely no idea what Christmas will look like. During this ever-evolving year, we are going to have to rely on our commitment to trusting ourselves and protecting our joy and peace. 

For many of us, the holiday season is a time where there are many expectations, traditions and normalities, and in true 2020 fashion, we are going to have to pivot. The question becomes: How can we navigate this holiday season with a commitment to your own joy and peace rather than comparison?

In true 2020 fashion, we are going to have to pivot.

In the age of social media, it is so easy for us to open our phones and utilize the decisions and posts of others as our guide. One minute you feel confident in your decision to stay home. The next minute, you are opening your phone to a photo of the perfect trip to Moab and now you are doubting every life choice you’ve ever made. Believe me, I’ve been there. 

As we enter into the season where it might feel extremely difficult to welcome change, let’s collectively commit to joy. Let’s turn inward and trust ourselves to cultivate it—even if it looks different than last year and even if it looks different than everybody else’s holiday celebrations on your social media feeds.

Let’s collectively commit to joy. Let’s turn inward and trust ourselves to cultivate it.

Trust yourself enough to be your own touchstone, not the decisions and experiences of other people. When we compare ourselves to others—especially through curated posts on social media—we inevitably start to question our own decisions. It makes it easier to trust and look up to the choices of others, rather than honoring and valuing decisions that will serve us.

I believe that part of the magic of the holiday season is that not one person’s experience looks the same. There is no one right way to experience joy over the holidays. As we all pivot this year, let’s congratulate each other for finding joy in new ways and dive deep into finding our own. 

Here are a few questions we can constantly go back to when we want to stay grounded in cultivating the holiday season we want: 

  • How can I best show up for myself today? 
  • What are five things that I want to make time for this holiday season?
  • How was I able to create joy in my life or someone else’s life today? 
    • Follow up: If today was a low for me, then what is one thing I can do tomorrow to cultivate joy? 
  • What are boundaries I can set this holiday season that will support me? 
  • What is one new tradition I can create this year, even if just with myself?

How does social media scrolling and comparison affect you? What healthy habits can you replace it with during the holiday season?

Images by Lindsey Harris Shorter for Thelma

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