Spread kindness to others and to yourself this season.
We’re in the season of giving. It’s about this time of year that we start giving more time, energy, gifts and thanks to those around us. Our stores, workplaces, restaurants and tv shows begin to reflect the holiday season and encourage us to be grateful. For some, this season is exciting and brings about warmth and comfort. We’re hurriedly making plans with friends and family, anticipating the new memories that will be made. For others, it feels lonely or stressful. We don’t take the time to enjoy this season and feel it’s just another reminder of what we don’t have. Whichever boat you find yourself in, I challenge you to do things differently this year. Don’t rush the moments you’ve worked so hard to get to. Allow this time to not be perfect or Instagram worthy. Set aside your ideas of how this time should go and fully engage with your family and friends. Take it all in, because as we know, our circumstances can change in the blink of an eye. I also want to challenge you to express and receive gratitude. It feels natural to say, “thank you” when someone has helped us, but we might default to saying, “it was nothing” when someone thanks us. Many of us have trouble accepting compliments and gratitude because we’ve been taught that being gracious means denying our hard work and positive attributes. Give yourself permission to receive the appreciation of others rather than dismissing what you’ve done. As for expressing thankfulness, a card, phone call or simple text can brighten someone’s day. If you’re already cooking or baking for family, set some aside for a friend or neighbor. Get creative and keep it simple. We’ve lost so much within the past two years, and you might be thinking you’ve got to make up for lost time. Try not to overwhelm yourself with commitments or with things you believe you should do this year. Find the balance between giving to others and to yourself. This could look like going to Friendsgiving but not staying until the end of the evening or going out on a Friday but spending Saturday at home to recharge. Spread kindness to others and to yourself this season. And as always, lead with love.