Her perspective on being alone for the holidays changed in one small instance.
One small event showed Cynthia how to be happy during the holidays ...
Cynthia felt down in the dumps. She had moved last year across the country and this was her first Holiday Season away from family and friends. She loved her job and the adorable garden apartment she had found, but the rest felt so dismal. And to top it off, after dating Steve for four months when she first moved to California, he had recently told her the bad news: he still had feelings for Linda. It was over that night and since then no one interesting had come into her life.
How many times would she now sit alone at a Starbucks and wonder where Mr. Right was? Or wonder why she had given up her old life, even though it involved living at home at 24.
Later, sitting at her local Starbucks Cynthia noticed a newspaper left open on the table she had grabbed to an article: Be Happy This Holiday Season. Mmmm, she thought. Sometimes she believed in miracles. Maybe this was sent by an earth angel to her.
Cynthia began to read:
Lots of times we are sad around Holidays because we are not with the people we love or doing all the familiar things that we associate with the Holiday. For some people for example, Thanksgiving without a turkey dinner is a loss. December Holidays are the same way. No tree? Unthinkable for some celebrating Christmas. No Menorah? Again, for those that celebrate Chanukah, a real loss.
Here's how to BE HAPPY:
- Decide what memories for you are the most important from the Holiday Season. Make a list.
- Now put next to each item what could happen this year to make you feel happy.
- Last chore: Figure out how you can bring into play what you need for each item that you chose.
For example, if you picked a tree, can you buy and decorate the tree? If you picked being invited to a Christmas Eve party, can you have the party so you are sure to be there?...
The article went on, but Cynthia was already feeling a little better. She had toyed with a fake tree but now she knew she had to have a real tree and she was going to unwrap the ornaments from childhood that she had taken with her when she moved. Lastly, she was going to make some new ones and why not have some neighbors over from the complex ...
Suddenly she looked up as a young man about her age approached the table. "Oh, there it is, I left my newspaper and I wanted to finish reading the article on being happy this holiday season. I just moved here from New Jersey and I need some cheering up ideas for this season. Mind if I sit down for a minute?"
Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein, internationally known Positive Psychologist is the creator of The Enchanted Self ®, a positive psychology method for happiness. She is in private practice in Long Branch, New Jersey with her husband, Dr. Russell M. Holstein. Dr. Barbara can be found on the web, interviewed, writing articles and posting video 'TED' style talks on Happiness, Positive Psychology, Relationships and Parenting. She has been a contributor to Heart and Soul, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Redbook, Real Simple, The Wall Street Journal, Time online, the Today Show and Family Circle Magazine.