Feeling “holidazed” by too much shopping, decorating, socializing? Or, is this an “off” year? Are you feeling low? Is this season bittersweet? Instead of wincing every time you see or hear a holiday commercial, here are some things you can do to keep a spring in your step. Bonus points, they’re mostly free and entirely eco-friendly.
1. Take a long winter walk or hike. What’s better than a crisp walk as the afternoon light fades, evening’s lights come on and stars appear, to boost your spirits? It could be perfect for Christmas Eve or for the day itself.
2. Do something spontaneously nice for others. How about baking cookies, then wrapping and leaving them on the doorsteps of family and friends?
3. Spruce up your abode. If you’re not decorating for the holidays, you might spiff up a room or two. I know of someone who spent a solo Christmas Eve painting her bedroom in a bright and fresh lemon color. While painting she listened to Christmas music and drank wine. Despite the wine, it turned out fine and she was thrilled.
4. Cook dinner for a friend. Who would refuse time shared over home-cooked food? And, some quiet, instead of restaurant bustle, could be as delicious as the eats!
5. Donate blood. Contributions often decrease during the holidays, but the need remains constant. Contact the Red Cross. You’ve feel virtuous, maybe like after voting, and you’ll do some real good.
6. Get excited for the New Year. Make plans! If your holidays aren’t the happiest, pull out your new 2014 calendar and mark dates with favorite things to do. Winter sledding? Spring planting? Summer bike rides? Fall apple picking? You get the idea.
7. Send a handwritten letter or call someone. Sure, it’s the season for holiday cards but, especially when so many people rely on social media for contact, someone in your life will be thrilled to hear from you in a more personal way.
8. Volunteer time or funds. Many organizations look for volunteers to help with clothes, food or meal-related events during the holidays. During an “off” holiday season years ago, I helped serve Christmas dinner at a homeless shelter. The staff appreciated the help and its guest residents did, too. I left with a healthy dose of gratitude for all that I was so fortunate to have.
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