With the holiday season approaching, our mindset can begin to shift to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Shopping, hosting, decorating, baking, and the (possibly self-induced) challenge of trying to “keep up.” When we combine that with family dynamics, busy schedules, and perhaps the feelings of loneliness from losing a loved one or struggling with a relationship, it’s easy to find ourselves feeling like we’re not good enough, not doing enough, unfulfilled, unsatisfied, and lacking contentment.

Contentment is about finding joy in what we already have in our lives. It goes beyond material possessions and becomes about mindset and satisfaction with our situations by finding fulfillment without needing to acquire more. So how do we do that? 

Avoid comparison and envy of others. Here’s the sad truth: There will always be someone better than you. It may hurt to hear it, but there will always be someone with more money, better looks, better relationships, a bigger home, a nicer car, etc. We can not be the best and have the best of everything all the time. So, instead of being frustrated by that, we can move forward more healthily if we can learn to accept it and embrace it. The trick is focusing on what we do have instead of focusing on what others have. If we take the time to show gratitude for all we have each day, it will begin to change our perspective on the areas of our lives we perceive as lacking. 

Note comparison and envy of our past selves. Our comparisons and envy may go beyond “keeping up with the Jones’s.” We often look to our past and create comparisons with a former self or former season of life. “I was so skinny when…”, “I was so happy when…”, “Things were better when….” Pay attention when these thoughts begin to surface. The key to contentment is (This is worth repeating!) practicing gratitude for where we are now in this present moment. 

In summary, prepare your mind and heart for a holiday season full of contentment. To do that:

  1. Practice daily gratitude. – Focusing on the beautiful life, needs to be met, and relationships that already surround you. 
  2. Don’t compare your inner life (dirty dishes, arguments with a family member, number of presents) with the external world people share on social media. – Remember, social media is sharing a very one-sided and curated view of the lives of others. 
  3. Set social media boundaries. – This can impact overall health and wellness. Set timers, unfollow accounts that don’t serve you, and (crazy thought!) turn your phone off or on “Do Not Disturb” so you can indeed be present and find joy in your day-to-day moments. 

Here’s to a holiday full of contentment!

If you’re interested in entering the holiday season more mindfully, check out the Holiday Mindful Eating Mini-Course. You will also pick up tips on how to be more present and mindful overall so that you can cultivate more joy than ever before! Approach holiday food choices with more fun, less guilt, and better health. 


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