My secret to a happier holiday season


How many times have you heard that phrase lately…and not really felt it? I mean truly felt happy in the moment that you said or received that sentiment? 

I liken it to when someone asks how you’re doing, and you automatically reply with “good!”, without giving a second thought to how you’re actually feeling.

This time of year, we generally feel even more pressure to act or feel a certain way, whether we realize it or not. 

We “should” be happy, right? It’s the holidays!

Our friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues are on a constant adrenaline kick, filling their SUVs to the brim with gifts and decorations, shopping every last sale. We’re running around grabbing all the things, filling up on holiday parties and mulled wine, and staying up all hours of the night to grab the last unicorn onesie. 

I know because I used to be that person. Like, really be that person. (Minus the unicorn onesie.)

I got caught up in consumerism (thank you, marketing!) and let the meaning of the holiday season slip away from me, using wine, parties, and my credit limit to keep me going. Consequently, I was stressed about money, feeling run down and not at all jolly.

I needed that blowout, that new dress, the mani/pedi…for every single event.  

What I really needed was a little TLC and a reality check: Santa would have definitely put me on the naughty list for how much I was making everything about me.

It took a conscious decision for me to get back into the true spirit of the holidays. 

For me, that spirit is community, conscious giving, and loved ones.

A big shift from shopping sprees and overindulging. We all go through phases.

That said, you are entitled to spend the holidays however YOU want.

You don’t have to keep up with the Joneses and buy everything in sight. You can decorate your house with thousands of lights, or skip the 10 foot tree. You can create new holiday traditions. You can volunteer. You can keep it low key. You can go to all the parties.

Just make sure you’re focused on feeling good, and do whatever feels right to you. This is my #1 secret for a happier holiday season.

Feeling good should be your number one priority today and every day! Why? Because when you’re feeling good, life will seem so much easier, and you’ll get to enjoy way more of it. You will experience more fulfilling relationships and enjoy more time with the people who matter most to you. Doesn’t that sound better than feeling stressed, tired, anxious or rundown? 

With that in mind, I encourage you to think about how you can implement more compassion and self-care into your routine. How can you release the stress that comes along with a slew of holiday parties, crowded parking lots, and too many sugar cookies? While try as we may to focus on feeling our best, sometimes life happens and takes us out of our element.

Here are a few things that work for me when I need to boost my mood and feel better in a moment’s notice. Give them a try!

  • Put on your favorite song and dance

  • Meditate

  • Call that old friend you haven’t talked to in months

  • Take slow deep breaths 

  • Watch a documentary that makes you smile and feel super educated

  • Do a little yoga or some light stretching 

  • Light a candle, grab a blanket, and cozy up with a book 

  • Drink a cup of coffee or tea 

  • Take a nap

  • Write down or make a mental note of a 3 things you’re grateful for

  • Put on an uplifting podcast or a YouTube video

  • Go for a walk, run, or hike. Just get outside!

When you do whatever it takes to make you feel good, those around you will not only be more attracted to what it is you’re putting off, they’ll undoubtedly start to wonder what your secret is. 

And you can share it with them, just like I shared it with you.  

I hope you truly enjoy your holiday season this year, wherever you are, whoever you’re with, and however you choose to celebrate.

Happy holidays!


Asia Dawn