When Celebration Isn’t Working

When Celebration Isn’t Working

You’d think that after my last post I’d still have confetti in my hair and a smile plastered on my face. Woohoo! Party-time excellent, right? Not so much. In fact, I wrote this a week after my last post and struggled to even finish it up. 

Here’s my confession: celebrating is not my state of mind lately. Yes, it’s something I believe in, but I’ve been struggling. I recently recovered from Covid and isolation and was working somewhat from home. And the holidays are hard, especially this year. 

But, if celebration can be a state of mind, how can I shift it — even when I’m not in the mood? And is it even worth it? 

Sometimes it can be tough to decide what I need: what’s “worth” the effort. Do I want space because I need it or am I avoiding things that will ultimately make me feel worse? 

The first thing you need to do when it comes to “celebration” or even an intentional push of positivity is to decide if you really want it or need it. This past week I decided to give a cautious try. Here’s what I learned: 

Shifting into (or out of) a Celebration State of Mind:

  1. Decide if you really want it/need it. Life is not one big party and there are times where it’s not emotionally healthy to push happiness, joy, or play when we really need space to rest, feel sad/angry/etc.  or grieve. The key to true self-care is being honest with yourself on your own needs. Sometimes we need solitude or a good cry or just to be pissy for a bit instead of forcing something happy that just turns out fake. (More on that in a later post) But sometimes, if we’re just in a bad mood or tired — pushing a little bit of celebration into our life can boost both our moods and energy levels.
  2. Enlist help. If you feel like giving “celebration” a try even if your mood isn’t feeling it, start by enlisting help from someone who is feeling more “festive” than you or someone who is up for the challenge.
  3. Get weird and/or get kind. Find something novel to try out. This week my family busted out some old games, created a treasure hunt, wore weird costumes, and just got goofy. On the other side of it, we created a care package for a loved one who just went through surgery. It was nice to focus on someone else to crawl out of a bad mood. 
  4. Abandon expectations. Sometimes we have to let go of the expectation that something will be fun or the way we had hoped. Sunday we decided to do our annual “let’s decorate the Christmas tree and make magic memories”. It did not go as planned. The kids struggled with the “celebration” — they were overwhelmed and moody. It quickly infected the adults and we shut the celebration a little early into something more relaxing. Sometimes celebration is overstimulating and not what’s needed. And that’s okay. 

As we move toward a new year and whatever it may bring, I hope that you take the time to check in with yourself and figure out what you need during these strange times. Find your fun or find your chill. Mix it up and make it work for you.

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