Holiday season brings forth the gambit of emotions—from sadness to elation an everything in between. Together with the blessings we are grateful for, we also face challenges with each year that goes by. Added to the recent mix is the pandemic-related adversity of loss, isolation, and prolonged stress reported by more than 80% of Americans.
While the tips below focus on self-help, I always encourage my readers to seek professional mental health counseling when needed.
Here are three simple tips you can try that might just help you to feel happier during this holiday season and beyond.
- Find the blessings that spring forth from your challenges. I loved one of the quotes in best-selling novelist Walter Mosley’s books (Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore): “I’m sorry that he’s dead, but I am happier by far that he lived.” Always look at the gifts that arise despite adversity.
- Volunteering will elevate your spirits and will give your life purpose. Chose any organization that resonates with your skills and interests: Habitat for Humanity, Volunteering for the blind, walking dogs at a local shelter, reading to children in the cancer ward of the children’s hospital, wheeling nursing home patients into the sunshine as you sit and listen to their stories. There are so many ways you can feel useful and important. Restore that feeling of joy by doing something positive for others.
- Put yourself on a “savoring diet.” Learn to strengthen your resilience muscle by training yourself to savor every positive experience you encounter. This will allow good feelings to bubble up to the surface and create an arsenal of emotional strength that will get you through potential tougher times. The more you get into the habit of focusing on the good things in your life, the easier it will be to face challenges whenever they arise, because you know you have the ability to return to a good and happy existence again.
And finally, don’t forget to allow yourself moments of fun and laughter, which truly are the best antidotes to cure all ills—emotional and physical.
©Raeleen Mautner, Ph.D., LLC 2021
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