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3 Ways to Make the Most of the Holidays - Todays Gray MattersTodays Gray Matters

3 Ways to Make the Most of the Holidays

Portrait of an old woman
In The Way to Love: The Last Meditation of Anthony
De Mello
DeMello writes, “There is not a single moment of your life when you do not have everything you need to be happy…The reason why you are unhappy is because you are focusing on what you do not have rather than what you have right now.” These words ring true especially for elderly people as they lose friends,life mates, physical abilities, mental acuity. Most people are afraid to lose the world they know and yearn for familiarity. The holiday season can intensify feelings of sadness and loss. We’re bombarded with commercial advertisements featuring smiling faces, happy families, and tons of “must have” things. When you’ve lost, or about to lose, the familiar faces you love, your world may not look much like those you see on tv.

What are we to do? As DeMello points out, happiness is a choice. Here are 3 ways to make the most of the holidays.

1. To make the most of the holiday season practice taking control of what you can: your attitude. Choose to celebrate something in your life, whether it me large or small. What matters is that you choose celebration rather than submerging yourself in misery. Do you have a place to live? Someone to care for you? Someone for whom you care? Is the sun shining? There are all kinds of things we take for granted. Celebrate those things as gifts today.

2. Focus on the joy of giving. Gifts don’t have to be something you buy for others. You don’t have to be able to go somewhere to shop, or to order online. Even those who are bed-bound can give a smile, a word of encouragement or thanks. These are some of the little things that matter.

3. Live right now, in this moment. The past is behind you and we don’t know what the future will bring. Take this moment to observe what is. Are you breathing? (I hope so!) Feel the weight of your body on the chair, bed, floor wherever you are. Feel the chair supporting you. Pay attention to the sights, sounds, smells (let’s hope for aromas, not odors) you’re experiencing right now. Go back to number 1 and celebrate these. Worrying and ruminating don’t change anything, don’t solve problems. Choosing happiness won’t solve all problems either, but it can make working toward solution easier, make your day more pleasant, make your holiday season brighter.

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