Now that we are all revved up and giving and being thankful, let’s continue that energy into the holiday season. Here are fifteen more ways to keep that energy up. At the end of the month, take some time to reflect on all the things that you were able to do, no matter how big or small. Even if you were only able to do one of the things on this list, how did it make you feel? How do you think it made the other person feel? Do you think that you would like to do it again? If so, what do you think is holding you back from doing so? Take these questions and others and continue to reflect. Hopefully, these reflections will bring you to a place where you can act on a regular basis and give thanks year-round!
Day 16. Buy from local, small businesses when you can all month. If you can get that T-shirt, watermelon, small appliance pair of shoes or whatever else at a small business, do so. Take it a step further by promoting their business as well. Help our small businesses thrive!
Day 17. Volunteer at your place of worship. Help clean it up or teach a class or whatever you’re led to do. If you do not have a place of worship, you can always find a nonprofit organization such as a homeless shelter or food bank to donate your time.
Day 18. Become an organ donor. It only takes a few moments of your time and you are giving someone else a gift far greater than you can imagine. What better gift to give than the one of life? You can register here https://www.organdonor.gov/register.html.
Day 19. Volunteer to do a reading hour at your local library for the children. This is a fun and easy way to connect with your community and who doesn’t love a good book!
Day 20. Spend time volunteering at your local humane shelter. Let’s not forget our furry and feathered brethren this time of year. You can also donate supplies if you do not wish to donate your time.
Day 21. While you are preparing your own Thanksgiving feast, prepare extra for a family in need
Day 22. While you are hosting dinner for your own family, take it a step further and invite a family in need over or someone who doesn’t have family close by to partake in the festivities with you and your family.
Day 23. Pass out coffee and donuts to all the Black Friday Shoppers lined up outside of the stores waiting to grab the deals. Hopefully, this will spark more joy and less anger so that all will have a safer and happier shopping experience!
Day 24. Consider purchasing from fair-trade organizations while doing your Christmas shopping instead of using big box stores. Olive Branch has “adopted” one you can find here: www.huaywasi.com.
Day 25. Volunteer to walk your neighbor’s dog. It would be a nice way to burn off some of those extra holiday calories and to say thanks for being such a great neighbor!
Day 26. Do a chore for someone that isn’t capable of doing it themselves. For example, if you know a pregnant woman in her third-trimester struggling, help her with her laundry, cooking, vacuuming or whatever else she needs. Try to think of someone you wouldn’t normally think of to help.
Day 27. Recycle. This is a way to give back to Mother Earth and say thank you for all she has given us. https://www.epa.gov/recycle/how-do-i-recycle-common-recyclables
Day 28. Leave notes of gratitude on windshields or car doors. Most people don’t expect happy notes on their cars, so expect the relief they find when they see a happy note!
Day 29. Smile at a stranger everywhere you go that day. If it is on the bus, in traffic, at the store, walking down the street, or wherever, try purposely smiling at everyone you meet and see what type of reactions you are met with.
Day 30. Praying and/or uplifting your friends, family and the world in positive energy privately. Sending out positive energy through thought is a powerful practice. It is also very much needed. If you do not pray, uplift your loved ones and the world in a positive manner and notice the difference it makes around you and within yourself.
By Garcsa Brooks,
Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc.