Could you possibly celebrate 365 times in the next year? That’s one every day.
Before you open Pinterest to start searching for cool themes, wait.
I’m talking about a “mini celebration.”
Not anything that takes more than a minute or two. So, even if getting out of bed seems monumental, you can do this — every day.
A person struggling with depression doesn’t feel like planning a party.
They don’t believe there is anything to fight for, let alone party about. I know. I’ve been there. The mind fog obscures your vision, and some days, your legs feel made of lead.
But, the decision to choose to celebrate something small often unlocks a key to breaking through the depressive black hole.
It is deciding that today is a gift, one worth opening.
It’s a deliberate choice that takes incredible bravery.
Still not sure you can celebrate 365 times in the next year? Use these ideas to jump-start your celebrations.
? Celebrate small wins. Why?
Type A personalities do well with big celebrations, like milestone birthdays. However, daily accomplishments like landing a new client you’ve been cultivating for months, or high-fiving your son who scored his first soccer goal tend to get missed. According to Fred Bryant, savoring these good moments in our lives builds our confidence and resilience against the tough stuff. We need to celebrate.
Each success we celebrate boosts our morale. Bill Carmody, in an article on Inc.com, says, “When you celebrate, endorphins are released inside your body and you feel incredible. When you accomplish something and don’t take the time to celebrate, you are robbing yourself of an important feeling that reinforces your success.”
Pausing to celebrate creates new neuro-pathways in your brain. It gives you the boost you need to tackle the next obstacle. A pretty good reason to celebrate, don’t you think?
? Look for reasons to celebrate. How?
Recently, after waiting for the result of a medical test, I recognized how much I needed to celebrate the win. And I needed to do that with someone I love, which happened to be my daughter. We went to Starbucks, where she got her favorite coffee, and I got a lovely cup of tea. A quick, inexpensive celebration. Beautiful enough to commemorate the win. Then, I shared that win with a few others who’d been praying with me about this issue. Their texts, comments, phone calls, and silly celebration images boosted my spirits.
When your children are small, you cheer when they accomplish a new milestone. You’re quick to grab your smartphone and record their first step. The first time they say, “Dada,” your heart melts. You cheer as they roll from front to back to front again. These developmental milestones deserve a celebration. Somehow, as we grow older, we forget the discoveries continue and need recognition as well.
It’s time to pay attention to everyday moments. Set a daily goal to stop and celebrate. Did you notice the spectacular sunrise? Acknowledge the Creator for His prowess. Did you celebrate when you kept your temper in check instead of blowing up at the driver who cut you off? Sing Hallelujah! Did today include a sweet treat? Savor every bite of that piece of chocolate. Delight in your senses of taste and smell. Close your eyes, breathe in the scents, and revel in the nuance of flavors.
? Practice mindfulness. When?
You might call this being present, mindful, or something else. Whatever means the most to you, do it. Be in the moment. Too often we rush through our days and miss the small glorious nuggets tucked into each day. Instead of choosing to be present, we skip over those things we desperately need to enrich our hearts, minds, and souls. We choose blindness over open-eyed-wonder.
Several years ago, I heard a song by the Getty’s called, Don’t Let Me Lose My Wonder. Every time I get sidetracked from being present, I listen to this song and remember how critical it is to my soul to slow down and pay attention. What story did you miss today? Slow down, pause, breathe, and wonder. It does your soul good. Every day.
? Smile. Does it matter?
Have you noticed how your attitude improves when someone smiles at you? What would happen to your mood and demeanor if you chose for one day to smile so much your cheeks hurt? Try an experiment: no matter what you feel, smile at the next person you see. Pay attention to the response—yours and theirs. How do you feel? Was that so hard? Did it matter? Yes. To you and them.
? Be Grateful. How?
In Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, she talks about the importance of expressing thankfulness or gratefulness every day. If your life is difficult at the moment, intentionally look for something that delights you today. Write it down. Call it a Gratefulness Journal if you need to, or simply record it in a voice memo, or jot it in a spiral notebook. When you take note of these moments, you flip on your Reticular Activating System (RAS filter). That’s a fancy scientific term to explain what happens when you decide to focus on something. For instance, if you’re dreaming about having a baby, you notice pregnant women everywhere. Your mind searches continually for like items and ignores other stuff. Therefore, train your mind to be grateful and watch your life dramatically improve.
It’s time to add a celebration to every day. You need it, and so do I.
Don’t tell me you don’t have time to do this. It’s as simple as a high-five with someone nearby, a smile, a happy dance, or a cup of tea or coffee.
Look around you. Blessings abound: the smiles of children, the beauty of a glorious sunset, the comfort of a warm bed at night. Small, great, there are plenty of reasons to say to God, “Thank you.” Joni Eareckson Tada
Why not have a “summer’s here” or “school’s over” or “braces are off” or “I love my job” celebration today?
Do something out of your routine to acknowledge a moment. Then, document that the party somehow—a mental picture, a selfie, or journal entry. Do all three!
Life’s too short to miss these moments. Today is ripe for celebration.
If you need help, please reach out. I promise to listen without judgment and help you take the next step.