I am grateful for the opportunity to blog and have readers who provide feedback. I’m thankful for the WordPress community and for the wonderful blog posts I’ve read the past few years. Befriending fellow writers from Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and Australia has been a phenomenal experience.
Here’s to a healthy 2017 with lots of presence.
Yesterday’s blog was about being fierce and how to get there. Today’s post is about the opposite: sadness and lethargy.
2016 was a difficult and painful year for many people I know. The holidays can sometimes lead to funk, not cheer. According to Psychology Today, the anticipation of merriment might lead to pensive gloominess or even depression. We drink too much, eat too much and sleep too little. Some signs of the holiday blues include: “Headaches, insomnia, uneasiness, anxiety, sadness, intestinal problems, and unnecessary conflict with family and friends.” (Psychology Today)
How to beat it?
The article cites 10 tips. I’ll give them to you in a nutshell:
- Be reasonable with your schedule.
- Organize your time.
- Declare an amnesty with your friends and family.
- Manage your expectations. Holidays won’t be for you as an adult what they were when you were a child!
- Volunteer to help others in need.
- Alcohol is a depressant. Drink in moderation.
- Take breaks – especially physical ones, like exercise or just walking.
- Think half-full, not half-empty. The choice is yours!
- Take breaks – exercise, walk around the neighborhood. Get moving!
- Choose to see the glass half-full, not half-empty. You do have a choice.
Practicing gratitude improves your life in a multitude of ways. According to Amy Morin, a psychological business writer for Forbes.com, reflecting on all that you have to be grateful for benefits you in the following ways:
- Opens the door to more relationships.
- Improves your physical health (fewer aches and pains)!
- Improves your psychological health (reduces your emotional toxins)!
- Enhances empathy and reduces aggression.
- Helps you sleep better.
- Improves your self-esteem.
- Increases mental strength.
Reflecting on gratitude is a form of living in presence.
Happy Thanksgiving, all.
Dear Mom and Dad,
Thank you for all the piano and cello lessons. Music has been a lifelong passion of mine and speaks to me in all facets of my life. I’ve developed a deep appreciation for it and (hope) I’ve passed that on to my daughters. You sacrificed money and time for us and now I’m doing the same.
Thank you for the Tae Kwon Do lessons. It was hard and it must have been difficult for you to watch Jojo, John and me kicking and punching and getting beat up by grown ups in class. When we broke boards, we felt a new found satisfaction in our focus and power.
Thank you for not allowing us to quit, even when we cried.
Thank you for encouraging and allowing us to work in the cornfields of DeKalb, IL. We got cut by the sharp leaves of the stalks. We sweat and walked 12-14 hours a day during “peak.” But we learned the value of hard work and the true value of money.
Thank you for allowing us to ride our bikes all over town and for speaking in Korean in the house and pushing Korean food on us, when we just wanted McDonald’s. We came to appreciate different spices and vegetables and it’s a lot healthier, too.
Thank you for not going easy on us.We learned to handle disappointments, heartache, and pain. I was able to handle difficult bosses, financial stress and cancer because you allowed us to become strong and tough. Thank you.
Being grateful is a choice. It requires reflection, time and care.
When I start my morning writing down 10 things or people I’m grateful for, I live the rest of my day in light.
Realizing the good in your life and focusing on that will put a smile on your face.
And good things come to those who smile.
One of the writing prompts to my students last week: Think of something you must do. Maybe you have to do a chore. Now, put it in a sentence. For example, “I have to take out the garbage.” Make it a true sentence. Now, replace the words “have to” with “get to.” Do you see or feel a difference?
One of my fifth graders wrote this:
“I have to do the dishes. I GET to do the dishes. I have food I get to clean off the dishes. I ate food with my family last night. My dad, my stepmom, my brother and I talked and laughed and ate food and then I got to clean the food off the plates. I am really lucky because I have food to eat. I have a family to love. And I get to do the dishes.”