It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And also it isn’t. In addition to the fun and celebration of the season, many of us also feel great stress. There’s pressure to spend money we don’t have. Loneliness is off the charts, with nearly 55% of US adults reporting feeling isolation or sadness. The calendar is full and our emotional and physical tanks may be empty. Too, we may have high expectations for family gatherings that pan out to be more jarring than joyful. 

One easy way to keep your mood and body in balance is to keep up your supplement regimen. We can’t live on peanut brittle and eggnog alone! We love HCo.’s Happy Caps—aptly named!—with xanthuomol and turmeric. It’s a great start to Happy and you can find more about Happy Caps HERE.

Read on for other simple ways to make more merry!

Ask questions that count

What can you do to make it a more meaningful season? Start with intentionality. Rather than just slipping into your usual traditions, spending or eating habits, or even worries, sit down and take note of what you want to achieve this holiday season. Literally, take note! Ask yourself these questions (then sit in a quiet place and write down the answers):

  • What am I grateful for? 
  • What activities bring me joy and connection during the season? Note that these may be familiar activities, or new things you’ve wanted to try but never have. Choose just a few—perhaps one a week—that you’ll commit to do.
  • What activities can I eliminate, that cost me money, time, or emotional energy above what I can honestly spare? Keep your calendar as open enough to let you rest and recharge between events.
  • Who, where, or what can I serve that will be meaningful? 

Discover the satisfaction of service

Service is one of the most rewarding activities we can do, not just at the holidays, but anytime. A longitudinal study of more than 70,000 participants showed that those who volunteered at least once a month were happier year over year than those who didn’t. And in case you wonder whether it’s only the already happy people who already volunteer, the study showed that volunteers’ initial levels of mental well-being consistently rose after volunteering regularly. In short: giving of our talents, abundance, or time with intentionality, can lift others but also our own spirits.

There are so many opportunities this time of year, it’s easy to select one or more service opportunities to fit your personal or family’s style. Here are some big needs this time of year: Donate new toys or clothing to a shelter for women and children. If you live in a cold area, socks are the #1 requested need, and are also easy to size and so affordable! Sign up to organize or sort canned goods at food pantries: many people donate this time of year, but not many people realize these centers may be staffed by volunteers who are overwhelmed organizing and distributing the food. Drop off gifts or even thank you cards to your community’s service teams, from post offices, to city libraries to fire and police stations. Set up a tray of water bottles or snacks for delivery drivers to take from your front porch when they’re dropping off a package–they work so hard this time of year! Ask if your family or friend groups can sing carols or play holiday songs on the piano at a retirement home, or even just visit with the residents.

Keep it simple!

Remember, simple joys are the best ones! You don’t need to spend a fortune to have a priceless holiday. Time together, quiet reflection, capturing gratitude, and care for yourself and others…these are the treasures of the season. 

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