Despite being in the midst of COVID, it amazes me how hectic my schedule has become. The first several months felt like time stood still for most of us; now, as adaptable human beings, we are living our “new normal.” My new normal includes a tight holiday schedule. The holidays can be stressful enough, let alone combining them with working through a pandemic.
Heidi and I–our Chamber team of two–have been working our way through the book The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson. He spends time dissecting happiness. Does happiness mean putting together the perfect, safe, holiday event? Does it mean getting your greeting cards out to everyone on your list? Does it mean attending a string of Zoom gatherings?
Happiness is not a destination; it is not the grand finale. Happiness is a process, or as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin succinctly wrote “…the pursuit of happiness.” [They may not have made pursuit bold, but I like to think they meant to.] Happiness is comprised of daily habits, daily actions, the journey–not the destination.
As we inevitably encounter holiday stressors, the best way to create meaningful and significant holidays in 2020 is to focus on the daily pursuit. What does this look like in your life? Below are some ideas that will be just as rewarding for you as they are for those around you:
- Smile through your mask, others can still see your eyes. And it feels good, too.
- Take a moment to genuinely thank the grocery clerk.
- Offer to pick up groceries or run an errand for your elderly neighbor.
- When you grab your “to go” meal, pay for an extra and ask the restaurant to gift to someone who seems like they are in need or could use a break.
- Secretly pay for the person in line behind you for their daily cup of joe.
- Send an email [better yet a card] to someone, thanking them for their work or their impact they have on your life.
- Be creative in your gifting and think about how you can support businesses who have been most impacted by COVID-19.
- Leave a post-it on someone’s windshield letting them know they are special.
- Be respectful of a business’ efforts to protect themselves and their employees.
- Take a moment to breathe love, hope, and belief into a child’s life.
These little moments, these small happiness habits, can be life changing. And who knows, they may just make this holiday season your most meaningful yet.