We’ve finally made it to November and I am excited for all the things that this month and next month brings. It will look different this year, as almost everything has. The fact that everything looks different this year made me think a little about what these last months will look like.
I looked around my life and made some decisions. First I decided to do a 30-day mental health challenge in the month of November. I think many of us are weary of living with masks, hand sanitizer, and Wile E. Coyote floor dots everywhere. We are still supposed to stay six feet away. There are things shutting down again. The CDC has released a set of guidelines for holiday activities. We are reminded this is the new normal.
What better way to walk through the two most stressful months of the year, during a pandemic, than to take care of our mental health? What is the challenge? The idea is to take time for yourself, take a break, do something good for you that will counteract all the craziness in this season. If you want to join me you can find one via your favorite search engine. Just do a search for 30-day mental health challenge. You’ll find a lot of results.
The second decision that we made is to spend intentional time together without rushing. For us this means doing less. For us it means spending less time doing things that we’d rather not be doing, spending less money, and directing our time towards each other.
For example, my daughter and I are doing a gratitude scrapbook together for the month of November. My husband is sitting with us while we craft to spend family time together and help her with her crafts. We’re writing down the things we’re thankful for and putting them on a banner on the fireplace. We’re playing games together and having bonfires when the weather permits.
We have decided to exist in a mindset of less. We are buying less food, so we don’t waste, and giving to local food banks for thanksgiving. We’re spending less money on things we’d normally buy and in exchange we’re looking to do experiences together. We’re saying no to events and things in order to build in rest and focus in on God and what he’s saying to us.
Don’t forget there’s also giving Tuesday – after all the excess on Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday, there’s a day we come together to give. Here’s a link to a domestic violence shelter that you can give to: https://familyabuseshelterofmiamicounty.org/
We’re doing a virtual turkey trot for thanksgiving. Last year, I was so out of shape and I barely had energy to be with my family let alone do a 5K in the cold. I thought that it would be impossible to do a 5k this year and was disappointed. Until, I found that it’s possible to do them virtually. These virtual runs are all over the country. Here’s where we signed up: https://runsignup.com/Race/OH/Dayton/DaytonTurkeyTrot
We are directing our attention to joy and gratitude. We cannot be with friends and family in the same way we would have been able to do in prior years. We are sending cards to connect and tell our family and friends how grateful we are for them in our lives.
The next thing we’re doing is making sure that we direct our attention to God for his many blessings that we get to receive every day. We’re looking at how we can pass on God’s blessings in this season of giving. We finally got to go back to church after the shut down and we feel so blessed to be back in community after six months apart. Our church is doing a Christmas shoe box pick up and we’re doing a couple boxes this year.
We are going to shop for the items, put them together, and pray for the children as a family. This will allow us to direct our attention to giving to others and paying attention to all that we do have. Here’s the link if you’d like to do this as well: https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/
Finally, I am directing my eyesight towards what God says about thankfulness. I am looking heavenward to express my gratitude in a mindful way. Nightly I have a habit of saying thank you to God for all the things in life. But, after a couple years of this, it has become mundane. I am renewing my focus on thankfulness for all the good things that God has given. I will share a verse a day on Facebook and Instagram on thankfulness (follow me at LifeLoveRecovery).
Being thankful is more than a day, it is a mindset. Research shows that thankfulness increases happiness. Happiness has a direct impact on all measures of success – happy people are successful. Grateful people are happier and more successful. So, my family and I have decided to direct our focus outward, towards all the blessings. We have decided to be intentionally grateful this season. I hope you will too.
If you’ve decided to join me in any of the grateful things above leave a comment below.
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