The winter holidays seem to pull us to music like no other season. Each celebration evokes holiday songs that range from the silly to the spiritual. We learn many of these songs as children and retain them into old age. Music stays with us throughout our lives, with the power to positively affect hearing, learning, and emotions across the lifespan. When we are in need of physical, emotional, social, and cognitive support, music therapists may use the power of music to help us heal. We all listen to (and often participate) in music because the melody and/or the lyrics stir powerful and meaningful emotions within us.
What especially draws us to music this time of year? Reasons abound: remembrance of past holidays, religious and spiritual connections, camaraderie with other musicians, and the simple joy of music that lifts us with messages of hope and happiness. Because music speaks to so many in so many ways, our gift to you this holiday season is a heightened awareness of music's power to affect the way we feel, the way we learn, and the way we think.
May music bring joy and wellness to you and your loved ones!
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We're definitely in the holiday season! Thanksgiving kicked off (no pun intended) celebrations last week. Hanukkah, began at sunset this evening. Three celebrations wrap up the season: Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year's. Though the festivities represent multiple cultures, they all share common traits... a time to be with family members and friends; to share special foods and gifts; to reflect on our past, our present, and our future.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of gift-buying, decorating, and cooking, amidst the challenges of work and/or caring for a loved ones, however, we sometimes wonder if "holiday joy" is possible. Instead of enjoying the holidays, we're sometimes more concerned about getting through them.
If you would really like to enjoy the holidays, try these three strategies. First, consider maintaining routine as much as possible. It's easier to keep track of the ToDo List when we're grounded in the familiar. Second, consider modifying expectations. Sometimes, we really do try to do too much. Need help? Click here to take Michael Plontz's Holiday Stress Assessment. Finally, consider simplifying. Would it be easier to buy similar gifts, like books or music, for everyone on your list? Could your guests contribute to the special meal?
A Signals catalog "Holiday ToDo List" T-shirt sums up holiday activities that bring joy to many: Be present. Wrap your arms around someone. Be the light. May your Holiday ToDo List bring joy as well.