This time of the year, everywhere you turn your head, you’ve been hearing some buzz about the holidays!

Family time, good food, awesome gifts! You nod in agreement and can’t wait to see everyone you don’t spend nearly enough time with throughout the year – the hectic way of living made losing touch with people easier than ever.

So you’re excited – you can’t wait to take a break from everything and wind down for the day with the people you love the most.

In fact, you’re thrilled about the holidays like a child – you keep thinking of all the good laughs and all the deep talks that happen right after dinner. You crave the cozy homey feeling that you experience only during this time alone.

If you had a rough couple of weeks before Christmas, chances are, you’re literally counting the days until Christmas comes around so you can take your well-deserved break.

But sometimes – more often than not – you end up feeling empty after the day is over. Instead of feeling happy and content, you feel like crying.

You felt guilty for breaking your diet for the hundredth time this year – will you ever learn to say no to dessert?

You felt sad because you felt like no one has put as much of thought into their gifts as you’ve put in yours – why did you bother to carefully pick everyone’s gift?

You felt lonely when everyone was rushing to leave dinner and do their own thing – weren’t you supposed to sip hot cocoa and talk for hours in front of the fireplace?

And before you know it, you’re counting your sorrows instead of your blessings during what’s supposed to be, the most wonderful time of the year. You feel depressed and angry and frustrated even though you’ve promised yourself you won’t ever feel that way – you’re angry at the world for failing you, once again.

Do things really need to be this way? What did you do to deserve to feel like this?

Now, this is the moment where I want you to stop every single one of your self-loathing thoughts, close your eyes and look at yourself from the outside. Imagine that you’re looking at yourself the way your loved ones, your friends and family, would see you.

I understand you could be so frustrated you don’t want to do it but bear with me now and just give it a try.

Answer yourself honestly – what do you see?

If you ask me, I’ll tell you what I see – I see someone who instead of looking for reasons to be happy, looks for reasons to get mad. I see a person with some incredibly high expectations.

And let me tell you now – expectations, more often than not, are the straightforward path to disappointment. Often, we end up feeling so mad and disappointed because people didn’t act the way we expected them to!

Holidays are not about expectations – it’s okay even if your Christmas doesn’t look like a movie!

Holidays are about feeling grateful.

Holidays are about counting your blessings – not your sorrows.

Holidays shouldn’t get the best out of your own insecurities.

Sure, everyone left early but have you ever thought about the fact that maybe, they wanted to wind down early for the night – and that has nothing to do with you. Some people didn’t even get to spend a minute with their loved ones – and they sure wished to do so.

You got so mad at yourself for eating dessert you weren’t supposed to eat but there are people who didn’t eat dinner at all last night.

You got disappointed because maybe you thought your loved ones would put just a little bit more thought into the gifts – but how can you tell they didn’t? Maybe they thought that’s the perfect gift for you!

And sure, receiving attention from others feels nice but would you let the actions of others define your self-worth?

Listen, darling, here’s the thing:

The only person whose behavior and attitude you can control in this world is you and you alone.

You can’t control other people – and you certainly can’t let them create your happiness. Everyone’s responsible for their own happiness.

It depends on you and you alone whether you want to go around and point fingers at reasons for why you’re feeling miserable or whether you want to point that finger towards yourself and finally – finally! – take over the responsibility for your own life.

So instead of sulking around, have you ever tried actually telling your friends and family you’d want them to stay longer? Have you ever offered them to stay over for the night, just so they wouldn’t have to drive back home late at night?

Have you tried cooking a healthier dessert on Christmas day – so you don’t feel guilty after the feast is done? When did Christmas start being all about the food?

Have you tried thinking of other ways to handle gifts – secret Santa with a set budget beforehand is a great alternative so no one gets disappointed! – or maybe, have you thought of the fact that sometimes, people simply don’t know what to get you, which is completely and utterly fine.

People can’t read minds and they can’t tell what’s going on in your mind – unless you tell them.

But you’re the one who can read your own thoughts, and you’re the one who has all the power to shift them so they move along a nicer, more positive path.

Don’t depend on others to create your peace and happiness – they’ll always fail you and not because they don’t care for you but because they can’t know what is the thing that makes you truly and utterly happy.

The only person that does is you.

The sooner you realize that and the sooner you start working on your own life, the happier you’ll be.

Merry Christmas – and get to livin’.