Celebrate every day whether you feel like it or not

With the economy in the doldrums, a lot of us are as well. But regardless of how bleak life seems, there is always something to celebrate. And we think that in the down times, it’s more important than ever to recognize the positives in our lives, count our blessings, and continue living in appreciation for all we have had and all we still experience.

Here are a few of our suggestions for celebrating life even when things look bleak.

  • Turn off the TV news. If you absolutely, positively can’t live a day without watching, avoid doing so first thing in the morning or last thing before bed. During the time you’d normally be tuned in, invent your own headlines, celebrating the positive things going on in your life.
  • Focus on nature. Even though the calendar says spring, it’s still winter here in Seattle—gray, rainy. But right outside our doors, we’re seeing the first signs of bulbs pushing up through the soil. Trees are sporting buds. We are surrounded by hope. Celebrate that.
  • Visit a beautiful or inspiring place. No matter where you live, somewhere close by is a vista that moves you. Spend some time there, drinking in the view, listening to the music of birds or the water. Yesterday, we stopped by the beautiful Treehouse Point, only a few miles from where we live. Just touring the place, climbing up to the treehouses that sit above the forest floor, felt like a renewal. We didn’t need to spend the night to feel refreshed. Maybe watching a video of our visit will vicariously lift your spirits.(Be sure to turn up the sound. We were competing with the river!)
  • Get out a calendar and write in one 15-minute activity every day that will bring your family  together and make you smile. If you enjoy playing games, check out one of favorite sources, Simple Fun for Busy People by Gary Krane, Ph.D. It’s filled with silly games that cost absolutely nothing.
  • Invite friends over for a party. Play group games (rather than competitive ones), do crafts together or volunteer as a group after a potluck supper. Doing something for others can help us realize how well off we are.
  • Take every opportunity to celebrate each other (family and friends), and your successes. Get a crown or tiara or make one from paper. Vote on the family member who has the best story to tell about a success that day. Or ask everyone to write what they want to celebrate that day. Put the papers into a jar. When the jar is filled up, enjoy a family outing. Or gather your friends for a weekly celebration,pass the crown around. Support each other.

Whatever you do, lift your focus from the negative and breathe in gratitude. Celebrate the fact that you are alive and when the crisis passes, you will still be here, hopefully stronger than ever.  

Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are a mother-daughter team and co-authors of Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, available at www.CelebrateGreen.net.

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