The holiday season, for all of its jingling bells and ringing in the New Year, can actually be one of the most depressing times.
The Christmas music everywhere reminding me of the people I won’t be seeing this year.
The flurry of gift-grabbing and couples snuggling all around me while I just wish for a few extra minutes of sleep.
Knowing I’ll be at work every day while my daughter tells people she’s mad and asking why I have to go… and knowing also that at midnight on New Year’s Eve I’ll still be working instead of home with her…
Sometimes it’s too much loneliness to bear.
But then something happens to pull me out of my cycle of negativity.
Something that makes me want to rediscover happiness in my life ASAP.
A serendipitous something, like an offer to review GaiamTV’s film Happy arriving just as I begin a mad hunt for my own happiness.
By the way, you’ve heard of GaiamTV, right? Bearer of the first positive, healthy streaming videos for those looking for mental and physical balance?
Well Happy is a documentary which introduces happiness in places and circumstances you’d never expect. Like the poor, thin man who pulls a rickshaw for a living in India in terrible heat and crazy monsoons saying, quite simply, that when he sees his son’s face he is happy- and rich.
Brings back perspective when I’ve said pretty much the same thing about Zahara the last few years.
Happy also dives into some current psychological studies like did you know that about 40% of happiness depends on our intentional activities, while only 10% is based on our circumstances?
So what happens to you isn’t nearly as important as what you do for yourself! Aha 🙂
It got me thinking about what I need to do to be happier as opposed to giving into the holiday humdrums.
1) I can’t explain the pleasure of losing myself in a good book! A device is more convenient but the feel and smell and sound of the pages as I turn them is a doorway to utopia for me. I vow to buy myself these anti-stress treasures and allow myself the time to read on the train to and from work instead of updating my social media sites.
2) While it’s true that my room doesn’t have to be perfect, the lack of organization on my single mom journey has gone from a little laziness to outright pandemonium. Nothing is where I think it is ( I’m too tired to put it away but also, my daughter thinks it’s funny to rearrange and hide things, like putting all my lipsticks into different bags and hiding those around the house!)
It’s avoidable stress if I just commit to a bit of structure, like one day a week to make sure everything’s where it belongs. I don’t have to worry about time management or missing an opportunity for something fun instead if I’m just doing it once a week.
3) Keeping the face to face alive in my friendships instead of relying on social media and texts for communication. Part of why I’ve barely seen my friends lately is because I feel guilty spending time without Zahara when I’m not working. But I have to keep reminding myself that a little me-time makes a much healthier mommy. A few hours of carefree friendship, two or three times a month isn’t cause for guilt and I miss my friends!
4) Another emotion I need to get over is the fear of taking Zahara on vacation alone. I’ve done so much with her by myself, but I worry about being overwhelmed if I go away without someone to help me. But In a few months I’ll have my flight benefits and I promise to use them to start exploring this Earth again… maybe starting with a Puerto Rican vacation sometime this year since that’s where I was truly happiest.
5) Last but not least, I have to starting eating healthy again. I don’t mean diet, but just go back to the daily dose of fruits and veggies I was getting since I was pregnant with Zahara. I really like citrus and berries and, surprisingly, a lot of vegetables. And I know I have more energy, better skin, and less rundown when I’m eating those things instead of food court fast food like I have been at work the last four months! Getting back to that regimen of good eats will balance me inside and out, and it’ll help with all those moments of total exhaustion that ultimately lead to depression in the first place.
So what about you, dear readers? What 5 things can you do for yourself to make the end of this year and the start of the new one truly about happiness? Leave me your answers in the comments section. While you’re at it, go check out Happy and see why I think it’s a film everyone should see. I’m certainly in a better mood after watching it!
And guess what? Gaiam’s offering you a FREE 10-day trial to their awesomely unlimited, 24/7 streaming content. Plus, when you sign up for the trial you’re automatically entered to win a 3-month subscription and a cozy, organic fireside blanket. Visit http://bit.ly/GetGaiamHappy for this promotion.
Gaiam TV’s $9.95 per month subscription is no strings attached; there is no commitment, and members can cancel at anytime. So happiness is just a few clicks away! Go find some for yourself.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by GaiamTV. No request to share any particular point of view was made, however I was given access to GaiamTV’s website and subscription content. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own, including the recently unpopular notion that reading an old-fashioned book is still a desirable activity or that I should SEE my friends, not just interact through technology. 😉