Dana Darrow, LCSW
Preserving your peace during the holidays
The holidays are upon us. Normally a time of bustle and joy, shopping excursions and extended family get-togethers, they’re going to be very different this year. Although we may not be able to have all of our traditional activities, there are ways we can ensure this holiday season is still a time of peace and celebration.
Start each day with self-reflection and set good intentions. Sit comfortably with your hands folded in your lap and your eyes closed. Relax and focus on your breathing. Reflect for a moment on how you want to feel and how you want to treat the people in your life. Set your intention to have a great day, even if it’s different from how your holidays normally look.
Take a moment to appreciate the gift of another day of life. If nothing else, this year has certainly demonstrated how fragile life is; we must make the most of each day. Rather than focusing on the things that are missing from our celebrations, think about the many blessings that remain: family and friends, special holiday dishes and drinks, festive music, pretty lights and decorations, a fresh snowfall, the stark beauty of the winter landscape.
This year, more than ever, some people may be struggling mentally, emotionally or financially. Finding ways to volunteer and serve others is a great way to lift their spirits and yours. Give to your favorite charity, pick out some toys for a toy drive, take food to local food banks and reach out – socially distanced – to your neighbors in need.
Even though in-person celebrations may be limited, you can still reach out to your loved ones. Handwritten holiday cards and special gifts delivered to their doorstep will be especially appreciated during this year of comparative isolation. Share the joy of opening gifts with family and friends on Zoom. Order holiday treats to be delivered to elderly friends and neighbors right before Christmas Day. Call friends and relatives – especially those living alone – to let them know you’re thinking of them during this special time.