The holiday season has arrived once again. While it can be a magical time with colorful lights, festive parties and gift exchange; it also can trigger feelings of grief, loneliness or generalized depression. This is not uncommon as baby boomers get older and become empty nesters, widowers or are long time single. This year, try our three-step remedy to explore your greatest talents and passions, and use them to create community and philanthropy as a great way to enliven the holidays.
Let’s get started!
A little self-exploration is a great way to gain powerful insights, and will naturally inspire you to engage and give. Begin by take an inventory of all the things you love to do. Take a moment to sit down at your table with a piece of paper, a pen and a cup of coffee or tea. Before you start – sit back, close your eyes and settle your mind.
Allow yourself to imagine a perfect sunny Saturday.
You have no chores, no obligations, and four hours to do whatever you want. Ask yourself, “What would I most want to do with this glorious day?” And then wait while various alternatives float to your mind. Write them down.
For some, the answer is as simple as taking a bath or reading a book. Others come up with golfing, taking a hike in Nature, working in the woodshop, or looking for shells on the beach. For others, it is making something artistic, cooking, or going shopping.
The answers you come up with are important, and often require little to no money. These ideas reflect the areas of life that gives you the most comfort and joy (to borrow from a famous Christmas carol). This is important, and can be a foundation of how to expand those things you love into a tool for engaging with others.
If doing something artistic was the top of your list- that is a powerful clue.
- Explore: how can you expand your love of art into something bigger?
- Engage: deepen your skills by taking a class. Not only will this sharpen your skills, but also introduce you to others who share the same passions.
- Give: now, use your art to make small gifts (ornaments, cards, toys) and give them away to friends, a school, or a homeless shelter.
My grandfather was one of the happiest people I knew. He loved people, and would always fill his pockets with hard candy and give out a piece to everyone he met. He was someone who could never sit still and had endless talents. Well into his 90’s, he continued to explore, engage and give. When he could no longer work in his shop, his last years were spent wrapping coat hangers with yarn (keeps the shirts hanging nicely) and gave away hundreds to his children, grandchildren, and staff at his assisted living facility. He was adored, and never was without a smile.
The experience of loneliness is one of the most powerful signals from our bodies to act. There is a big difference between loneliness and depression, although they are often diagnosed as one. Feeling lonely is simply information- time to get out! Try this three-step remedy and see what happens.
Explore your passion more deeply, engage with others who share your interests and then give away our time, talents or gifts to others.
Children do this naturally. They may make pot holders, paint pictures or cut out paper snowflakes and then happily give them away without another thought. ‘Tis the season of sharing, caring and reciprocating. Come on in and join the fun! What are some of your passions and interests that you have turned into tools to create community and philanthropy?
Guest post by:
The Silvernest Team