Here we are once again at the holidays, a stressful time of year for everyone but especially for Adult Children. The holidays mean different things to different people, from overspending to overindulging in sugar or alcohol but it can also be a time for self reflection.
Thanksgiving may be over (and the leftover turkey sandwiches and soups may be almost gone) but perhaps the holidays can be the perfect time to continue being thankful and practicing gratitude.
Word has it the Universe loves when we’re thankful and only wants to give us more in turn. It’s like when we’re given a thank you card in the mail from a niece/nephew grateful for the $50.00 cash gift she/he just received for his/her birthday. It was a lot of money to shell out, but we remember when we were 16 and cash was the coolest. Knowing that the child took the time to show thanks makes us think, well maybe we’ll shell out the same amount next year because we know it makes the recipient happy.
By shifting our sights to what we are grateful for, rather than what we are unhappy about and can’t change (like the serenity prayer) may just bring us greater peace of mind during this hectic season.
Shifting perspective is often easier said than done, so I’ve listed some examples of some ways we can practice gratitude.
- · By writing in a gratitude journal, where every night before bed list five things we are grateful for. This can be any thing as simple as “peppermint flavored ice cream” to “my kids and family” to “this ACA group and the steps I’ve made through recovery so far.”
- · Taking a walk in the newly fallen snow and appreciating the sounds around: the crunch of the snow under our boots, the cool yet crisp and clean fresh air we are breathing, the whisper like sound of snow falling.
· We can appreciate any activities we are part of instead of focusing on the stress these times bring: church dinners and special holiday fundraisers like gingerbread villages and pumpkin pie bake-offs. Or tree lighting ceremonies where anyone can sing along to Christmas carols.
Just shifting perspective and really taking time to savor the events of the holiday and be grateful is what the spirit of Christmas is really all about, isn’t it?
Have a peaceful holiday!