What brings me hope

Seven ways to happier holidays

By Rosalind Tompkins
Special to the Outlook

As I sat in one of my favorite places on St. George Island contemplating my next book, I did not say writing mind you, just contemplating; I looked out over the beautiful waves, and I felt as though I was traveling on a cruise ship. When I thought about places that I would go if I were indeed on a cruise, nothing came to mind. I then realized that it was not about the destination but the journey. I used my imagination to enjoy the journey of life that I am experiencing. 

I joyfully thought about how my journey was leading into the holidays and the excitement and anticipation of Christmas warmed my heart. Unfortunately, this is not the case for many. Last year a ValuePenguin survey of 2,100 Americans revealed that 55 percent were experiencing sadness and loneliness during the holidays. Thirty-five percent reported that it was worse than the prior year. The holiday blues can occur whenever there is loss and grief associated with missing loved ones or any number of things that can trigger sadness during the holidays. Grief is heightened when it appears as though everyone else is experiencing happiness and joy.

As a hopeologist and life coach, I would like to share seven ways to become happier during the holiday season utilizing the acronym HOLIDAY. These are self-help tools that can be used along with any needed professional help.

H is for hope. Do not give up hope and look for ways to experience better days. For help to become more hopeful please visit www.makeahopeconnection.com. 

O is for opportunities. Opportunities to bring joy are all around you in the little things like taking walks or catching up with friends. Be creative as you make opportunities for yourself.

L is for love. Love yourself enough to be kind to you and then let love flow to others. Help someone who is in need and do it up close and in person.

I is for identify and intentional. Identify ways that you can improve your circumstances and be intentional about doing them daily. It can be as simple as getting out of bed at a certain time each day and having a schedule of things to accomplish that are enjoyable. 

D is for determination. Be determined to make this holiday season happier this year and do not let setbacks stop you. 

A is for abstain. Abstain from doing things that you know are counterproductive. That includes people who bring you down and suck the joy from your life.

Y is for yes. Say yes to this journey of life with all its difficulties. Embrace your journey and say yes to the goodness that it brings.

Rosalind Tompkins, Ph.D., is author of “As Long As There Is Breath In Your Body, There Is Still Hope,” and other inspirational books. Tompkins is also founder of Turning Point International Church, the Chapel of Mothers In Crisis. She’s also founder of Turning Point International Alliance with ministries and churches in Pakistan, Nepal, Eswatini, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, and St. Vincent in the West Indies. 


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