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Joy To the World - And to You!

The holidays tend to bring out the best in us. We embrace the feelings of caring, giving, and sharing. Create intention in your choices every day and cultivate a sense of joy and gratitude that extends beyond the holiday season.

  1. The holidays are a wonderful time to think of others and to give a little extra. But don’t overwhelm yourself if your To-Do list already feels cumbersome and never-ending. Even a few kind words directed at a stranger or friend are also right for the season. Notice the good around you and say something in that moment.

  2. Practicing gratitude is a mindset that should be nurtured daily. If you have the time to keep a formal gratitude journal – great! Jot down something each day for which you are grateful for; studies have shown that this truly makes a positive impact on your attitude and overall well-being. No time for a daily journal? Don’t worry, you’re in good company. Instead, set an intention each day to be more aware of the ways you are fortunate. Or find something positive in each day and mindfully give thanks for that moment. Little practices can have big results.

  3. Kindness starts with yourself. It’s difficult to be authentically kind and compassionate if you don’t give yourself the same grace. Try to be more aware of your inner dialogue. If you find yourself thinking negatively or critical of yourself, simply ask: “Would I ever say that to a friend or loved one?”

  4. Slow down – and while you’re at it, put your phone down! Society and technology have created a perfect storm where we’re expected to be ‘on’ all of the time – whether that means connected to friends on social media, staying up to date with work emails, scrolling through the newest posts, or even constantly documenting our children’s lives through pictures and videos. Not only does it become exhausting, but it also isolates us from the real life that is going on around us. Becoming more aware what’s going on around you in a single moment puts you in touch with the world that is unfolding right before you – the sights, sounds, smells. Settle in to these moments and maybe have a moment of gratitude.

  5. Pay it forward, but don’t worry if you’re currently a little strapped for cash. I recently decided to clear out our linen closets and accumulated a trash bag full of old towels, wash cloths, and a few blankets that had seen better days. It would’ve been easy to just toss them out with the morning trash but instead I decided to make a call to the local animal shelter. By taking an extra 20 minutes out of my day to drop off the bag at the shelter, not only had I saved the landfill from another bag of consumer garbage, but I also knew those beat-up linens would be put to use to help dry and bed some dogs in need.

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