Find ways to count your blessings
Holidays can be difficult for many of us living in Alaska. Days are short, nights are long, and isolation can dampen our spirits. Often our families live far away, but traveling back to our hometowns can be challenging with the rising costs of travel. Let’s look at two ways of finding our holiday season’s blessings.
First, find your Thanksgiving blessing by taking a close look at all the things you are grateful for. Create a gratitude list. This list may consist of large blessings, like a promotion at work or a newborn baby, or small blessings — a friendly gesture from a neighbor, a smile from a stranger. Big or small, blessings come to us in many ways. By making a list, we are more conscious of these gifts. What a wonderful way to end a day: to look at our list and remind ourselves of all that we can be thankful for!
Learning to look at the positive experiences of our day can also help with how we feel about life in general. Having a positive outlook about life boosts happiness and feelings of well being. This can be especially helpful if you have issues with depression. A positive attitude is often contagious. People tend to be more attracted to positive people. By being positive you help others and yourself, thus making the holiday season more enjoyable for everyone.
Secondly, become somebody else’s blessing. Look for ways to make an impact on other peoples’ lives. Even small gestures can make a big difference. Remember an elderly neighbor who is spending the holidays alone by dropping off a meal and a few kind words. Make a small donation to help homeless families move into shelters or receive a warm meal. Become a gift to others.
When we are troubled by our own worries, we are often unable to see others in need. Make a point of finding one person a day who needs your kindness.
It is time to make this holiday season memorable no matter what your situation may be. Make a point of recognizing the blessings in your life. Count your blessings daily, be positive and find ways of becoming a blessing to others.
The column is the opinion of Sirpa Gorman, a board member of Love INC of Eagle River. She is also a Licensed Professional Counselor and has a private practice in Eagle River. She is a member of King’s Way Ministries.