Don't wait for happiness to find you!
It seems as though once the winter sets in and all the times of celebration end there is a season of sadness, loneliness, depression, distant memories, grief of a loved one's passing, a recent breakup; that begins to unfold.
These times tend to bring on lots of relationship problems for various reasons, making effective communication paramount.
Be open to reaching out to others as well as allowing others to connect with you. Sometimes it's easy to sit around and wait for someone to reach out to you and when it doesn't happen loneliness can set in. If this happens, it may be even more difficult to get out of your own shell and reach out.
Instead of waiting, be the initiator. Here are some ideas for getting outside yourself and connecting with others:
1. Look through your address/phone contacts for what names jump out at you. Hint: I wonder how she's doing or what he's up to these days or what's going on with them, etc. If a name stands out, make a call or send a text, email, or card. You never know, they could have since moved, married, divorced, or even passed, since you last connected.
2. Buy a box of inexpensive cards and send out some "hellos" to touch base. It feels good to do good. You never know what will come back to you. But don't attach yourself to any particular outcome. Just set the intention to reach out.
3. Pick up the phone and call someone out of the blue and say hello. More than likely, it will set other things in motion; so be open and prepared.
4. Look for someone who may be in need or less fortunate than you to encourage, donate, or contribute in some way.
5. Volunteer for a cause or at a local charity (church, animal rescue, food pantry, shelter, etc.)
6. Think of someone you'd like to spend some time with or like to be around. Think of a movie you'd like to see and invite him or her to join you; or set up a lunch or happy hour.
7. Find a local group or activity you've always been interested in and check it out. That's all — just check it out. Then ask yourself if it's something you really think you'd like to do or not.
8. Find places to get involved in some stimulating conversations; which can include study group, book club, a class (like sculpting or cake decorating) or a coffee shop that offers cards and board games.
You get the idea, right?
These tips help you to not only get outside of yourself but also help you get more involved with others. Not only will you increase your own happiness, but this will encourage those around you to do the same.
Know that there are times when you may have those "not so fun feelings," which are normal as well and a part of living.
But also know that you have choices about what you decide to do with them, rather than allow them to run rampant and get the best of you.
So when you find yourself going too deep this winter, get outside yourself and enjoy some of the tips in the list or feel free to create your own.