In a “normal year,” you could expect some joyous occasions to celebrate, moments that take your breath away, and even some losses and setbacks. But 2020 has been a year that has set precedence for losses—losses of life, jobs, social activity, and even hope. But regardless of how the year has treated us, Christmas is generally the time when the world feels abundant joy and gratefulness. But how can one feel these things when 2020 has unsettlingly taken more from us than we could have ever imagined? When many are struggling financially, mentally, emotionally, how can one cultivate a mindset of abundance?
Take inventory and then shift perspective. Abundance means a vast quantity of something, and for most people, the joy of Christmas is measured by the abundance of gifts given and received. With COVID running rampant and causing havoc, many may not have the abundance of financial resources to give, but one can take inventory of what they do have to offer. You may not have a job or money, but you do have time. You may be limited in your in-person social activities, but you still have social media. You may not have hope, but you still have life.
After you have taken inventory of what you have, then you need to shift perspectives. 2020 has not been an ordinary year, so of course, Christmas of 2020 shouldn’t be anything less than. Instead of being so consumed with what you can purchase to give, see what you can give with your time. Many are lonely, lost, and needing assistance, so how can you best utilize your time to help others? Cook a meal, give them a phone call, write a letter or make a card to mail to them—simple, personable, and cost-effective.
We may be limited on connecting in person, but virtual is always an option with platforms such as Zoom, Facebook, or WhatsApp, to name a few. Have a holiday bake-off in which everyone must present their best dish via video, and the family votes on presentation. Or have an ugly sweater contest to see who has really outdone it this year. The ideas are endless. The most important thing is that you are connecting and creating new memories together. You can still have that holiday feel, just in a different way.
If you—or someone you know—are feeling hopeless during this time, I encourage you to do a self-check to make sure you are getting the proper self-care. Self-care is more than retail therapy, bubble baths, or workouts. It’s being able to set healthy boundaries in relationships, say no and not feel guilty for saying it, unplug from social media, or anything negative. Self-care is self-love. Ask yourself, “What do I feel like I am missing or needing?” “Am I being honest with myself?” “What do I need to do to fulfill that need?” Being honest and transparent with yourself to get out of the mindset of hopelessness is the first step.
And if hopelessness leads you to start thinking about harming yourself or others, please seek professional help. Depending on the severity, help can range from calling 911—for immediate causes—to contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
After you have shifted perspective, then it’s time to accept and foster. Accept what was and how things will be moving forward. It’s OK to reminisce about the past, but it should be an easier transition of accepting the new with a new perspective. Last but not least, foster these new traditions with family and friends. Instead of focusing on the abundance of gifts, focus on the abundance of laughter, good times, and new memories you shall create this holiday season.
Ashley King is an author and founder of Get It Done Publishing LLC. She inherited her mother’s tenacity and her father’s business savvy. Her ambition and faith are what drives her. The combination of all the above is why she is The Get It Done Queen ™. To learn more about King, you can visit www.ashleymking.com.