The lights are bright. The air is crisp. Delightful desserts are all around. But how do we celebrate the holidays when we know there is darkness and despair for others? It’s hard to check the news without encountering disasters or social and political chaos. Despite today’s troubles, a season of celebration is upon us. Here are four ways to refocus as you enter this joyous time of year.
Know that your joy does not minimize the suffering of others. Sometimes it’s hard to celebrate knowing the hardships of those around you, but your blessings don’t have to be silenced. Make a list of all the good things in your life and how to maximize them. Plan how to share your celebrations with others who will celebrate with you. Don’t let the gifts—not those in a box—of today slip away without celebration. Embrace your faith, family and friends as reasons to celebrate!
Remember the important people in your life, present and past. Recall the joys of your past even if you have a loved one that is no longer around. You can still reminisce and honor what was so special about those relationships. Instead of dreading the realization of loss, choose to actively honor and celebrate those special people.
Memories can be sweet inspirations for creating new traditions to celebrate the season. Remember all that has brought you to today.
Make a visual reminder of what this season means to you. Collect photos, images or phrases that capture the reason for the season. In today’s world of technology, you could start a Pinterest board by browsing thousands of images or quotes online. This vision board, whether created online or from a few snapshots posted on your refrigerator or bathroom mirror, can commemorate the happiness in your heart.
Realize your responsibilities to those with and around you. Responsibilities are also blessings and reminders of how you matter to those around you. Instead of groaning about all you need to do, realize you have a purpose and a role that matters. Realize you can be a source of inspiration to others and have the power to make someone’s day. No matter the crisis of events we hear about on the news, you can make a difference in your family and community—now.
Celebrate this season and realize you can make a difference –in your own life and for others! You don’t have to turn off the news in order refocus and celebrate what this season really means to you. What can you do now to begin? There is a bell somewhere just waiting to be rung. Embrace today and bring joy back to the season!
If you or someone you know is struggling through this season or dealing with any crisis situation, there is help available. Contact Centerstone for the support you deserve. For information call 1-888-291-HELP (4357) or visit www.Centerstone.org.
About Susan Gillpatrick, MEd, LPC, CTS
Susan Gillpatrick, Centerstone Crisis Management Specialist and a Licensed Professional Counselor, works in the field with clients in critical incident response situations and in Centerstone’s wellness trainings. Contact her at (615) 202-2580 or email@example.com.