It is “Look on the Bright Side Day” – a day to look on the positive side of life and beat the holiday blues.
Click HERE to read more about the history of this special day.
A positive mindset can actually help in many different ways.
• Increased life span.
• Lower rates of depression.
• Lower levels of distress.
• Greater resistance to the common cold.
• Better psychological and physical well-being.
• Reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
• Better coping skills during hardships and times of stress.
10 WAYS TO HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS
1. CONNECT TO THE DEEPER MEANING OF THE SEASON
By connecting to the deeper meaning of the season, your Christmas celebration can itself be deeper, more meaningful, and therefore more perspective-shifting and happiness-inspiring.
2. SERVE SOMEONE
Sadness is inward-looking. Service is its opposite. So go make someone else’s life better, and watch what happens to yours. Joy will start to replace sorrow. Meaning and purpose will begin to reinsert itself into the holiday experience. Self-pity will give way to a growing appreciation for the bounty of life.
3. CELEBRATE THE SEASON WITH FORGIVENESS
Of all the gifts you give this year, perhaps the most meaningful and life-changing will be the gift of forgiveness you offer someone who has offended you. And here’s the surprise: You will likely benefit the most from forgiving than the person you forgive; it’s as much a gift to yourself as it is to the offender.
4. MAKE IT FUN AND FESTIVE
Get out the lights. Put up the tree. Blast the tunes. Decorate. Dance around the house. Invite others over to dance with you. Sing carols. Pop some popcorn. Watch a funny holiday movie (Elf is our favorite). Laugh out loud.
Get into the season. Don’t wait around for the season to get into you!
5. CREATE A NEW “FAMILY”
If sadness overwhelms the holidays because of loss or divorce or estrangement or distance, start now to create a new “family” of friends you can celebrate Christmas with. If you don’t make friends very quickly, join a club and volunteer to participate on special projects. It’s often in such settings where people with shared interests and values engaged in meaningful service that relationships grow fastest.
6. DO WHAT YOU LOVE
Sometimes when we feel down, we mope around the house feeling sorry for ourselves and wonder why others don’t come by and pull us out of our funk. Well, stop waiting! Be your own funk-breaker! Paint. Run. Climb. Sing. Swim. Serve. Learn. Play. Give. And watch what starts to happen to your holiday spirit.
7. BECOME THE NEIGHBORHOOD’S SECRET SANTA
Bake some cookies. Buy some gift-cards. And start secretly making your neighbors’ day. Put a plate of cookies on a doorstep or put Christmas cards on the windshields of cars in your community. Or, of course, personally deliver the cookies or cards to your neighbors yourself.
8. LIST ALL THE THINGS THAT ARE WONDERFUL IN YOUR LIFE
We often tend to over-exaggerate the negative and under-accentuate the good. We’re just funny that way. But taking the time to write down all that’s sweet in life can act to underscore the good and paint a picture that’s not quite as dour as we would otherwise believe.
Gratitude is contagious. So do all you can to catch it. Then spread it. Liberally! I guarantee a happier Christmas season for the effort.
9. GET UP, GET DRESSED, GET OUT!
Some of the symptoms of depression include oversleeping, staying in bed, undressed, un-showered, self-ostracized. But such behaviors also cause the blues. They feed each other. When we’re down, we don’t get up and dressed. But when we don’t get up and dressed, we often feel worse.
So stop the cycle. Get up. Clean up. Shave. Put on your best duds and go somewhere and do something. Anything. But do it without alcohol. The blues and alcohol (a depressant) is not a match made in heaven.
10. PUT YOURSELF ON SANTA’S “NICE” LIST
As you’re out doing good to others, spreading Christmas cheer, spread some to yourself as well. Buy yourself a gift. Make it meaningful. Enjoy it. Be grateful you can afford it (no matter how inexpensive it may be). Believe you deserve it. Have fun with it. And then believe you were worth every penny you spent … and then some!
BONUS #11: HAVE NO EXPECTATIONS
Our biggest cause of disappointment is when our expectations are not met. If you go into the season thinking this time things are going to be different, that no one will argue or get drunk or make offensive comments, that this Christmas will be the best one ever, and it’s not, the day will be a letdown, even if it was still mostly pretty okay!