HEALTH & WELLNESS
Five Ways to Maximize
Happiness During the
By Sharee Silerio
he holidays are a time for gift-giving, parties with family
and friends, cooler weather (this could be your favorite
or least favorite thing about this time of the year),
decorating homes with lights or wintry items, and
traditional feasts that comfort our souls.
In the hustle and bustle of buying gifts, traveling and creating
unforgettable memories, it’s easy to lose sight of what happiness looks
and feels like. It’s important to stay present, choose joy and maintain
your peace. Here are a few ways to increase your happiness this holiday
• Let go of the need to be perfect. Few things go exactly as we plan
them. Whether your flight is delayed, a family member gets sick and
can’t attend dinner, or you burn the Thanksgiving turkey, nothing
in life is perfect. What matters is how we respond to circumstances
we can’t control. Grace, peace and gratefulness changes everything.
• Focus on what really matters. Gifts, nor the cost of gifts, make the
holidays what they are supposed to be. The experiences, connections
and relationships we have, build and nurture are what makes this
festive season what it is. The beauty of the holidays is in the love that
permeates the air. Commit your attention to what lasts.
• Be intentional with your time. Don’t be afraid to say no. Don’t do
anything you don’t want to do to make someone else happy. Don’t
go to a party when you need time to yourself. Don’t attend a dinner
with people you don’t really want to be with, just to seem nice. You
can’t get any day, hour or minute back. Once it’s gone - it’s gone.
Choose what your heart desires.
• Give. Pay more attention to the ways you can help others versus
what others can do for you. Don’t go into debt in order to give.
Offer what you are willing and able to sacrifice – whether it’s your
time, money, knowledge or skills.
• Stay in the moment. Though it’s nice to share how much you’re
enjoying your family and loved ones with your Facebook friends
or Instagram followers, take a break from the digital world. Instead
of taking pictures and posting them on social media, absorb each
second by putting the phone down and engaging with the people
in your presence.
Celebrate this time of your life and remind yourself of the ways you
can choose happiness during the most wonderful time of the year.
Silerio is a St. Louis-based freelance writer, blogger, and film and TV writer-
producer. Her work has appeared in The Root, Curly Nikki and The St. Louis
American. Read her writings on faith and self-love at sincerelysharee.com.