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How To Put “Happy” Back Into “Happy Holidays”

Written by: Melina Panetta, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Are you tired of the holidays stressing you out?

Most of us have a long to-do list at this time of year to keep it all straight – work parties, friends and family celebrations, food and gift shopping. It seems like the more things that you cross off your list, the more just keeps getting added on, and it never ends!

The stress you feel really isn’t really a happy feeling at all.

You also end up with feelings of anxiety and running yourself ragged to meet all of your perceived obligations, instead of feeling cheerful and enjoying the magic of the season.

Sounds familiar, right?

The reason is because you’ve conditioned your mind to believe that you need to get it all done in order to feel good and give yourself a break to actually relax and enjoy the holiday season.

So what if this year you decided to create a different type of list, one that you approach differently, without judgement or ulterior motives?

This year I decided that I am not going to create a to-do list, but I’m going to design a “feel good” list instead.

I’m going to say YES to the things that feel good, and NO to the things that I’d rather not be doing.

No more beating myself up for not getting everything crossed off, or putting unnecessary pressure on myself to attend every single gathering.

I’m going to shift my focus on how I want to feel, rather than what I have to do.

Think about it.

What if you could feel relaxed doing things at your own pace, take the time to enjoy your surroundings, and do what you need to do without time pressure or judgement?

You can create your experience by shifting your focus.

Create your feel-good list, and use it as your guide. How do you want to feel?

Authentic? Generous? Loving? Confident? Calm? Excited?

To create your list, think about what makes you feel amazing, and ask yourself what people, events, or circumstances make you feel that way.

For example, I am happiest and feel my best when I don’t feel like I “have to do” something, have time to rest, eat well, exercise, and reflect. So I will get up earlier, say no more often, and prioritize nourishing myself and my body first, before giving my time to everyone else.

This is the best gift you can give to yourself!

Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks about your list, this is something totally for you. Think about what makes you happy and fulfilled and go from there. You can always change the things on your list depending on what you have going on.

It's all about what you want to feel at any given moment and directing your energy towards that.

You will discover that you will feel calmer, and embody the qualities that you value. This practice will also give you a chance to have a few minutes to yourself, to reflect on what you really need to feel good every minute of the day.

Your moments of reflection will also help you to set boundaries. You will drop the pressure of feeling obligated to be in several places at once, making everyone else happy (while you’re not), and feeling too stretched to enjoy your time.

Practice saying yes to the things that you’re excited about, and no to everything else. Your mind and body will thank you.

When you master the ability to approach your daily life and activities with intention, you will seize the opportunity to create your own reality in any season. In turn, you will make decisions that align with your values and feel more in control of your time. The bonus is that you will spend your time only on the people and the things that matter most to you, and get more done with less effort!

This holiday season, let’s all make our “feel-good” list. Give yourself the greatest gift of all...the gift of self-love.

Follow Melina on her Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and visit her website for more info.


Melina Panetta, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Melina Panetta is a Success Coach who is on a mission to help ambitious women become 20% happier. Why, you ask? Because a few years ago she woke up in a “successful” life and realized that she wasn’t happy or truly fulfilled. She spent her life doing everything “right”- working her way up the corporate ladder, taking luxury vacations, owning the house and the car, you get the picture. She turned her life around and became truly proud when she looks in the mirror, and she's been helping other women do the same through her signature program, The Happiness Blueprint.



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