Page 10 - LCT December 2019
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 your focus away from your situation to others. Reach out to others and find ways to bring joy into both of your lives. Remember, the greatest gift we can give others is ourselves, which will also fill us with joy. Try to make new traditions with people around you and fill your time. Some find volunteering fulfilling; others may host a gift exchange with neighbors.
Allow yourself happiness.
It may seem unnatural to be happy in your circumstances, but it will also build hope for your future. Use this season to set a new course for your future, permitting yourself to celebrate in ways that bring you joy!
I recall one client on her first holiday season alone. Her children were spending Christmas with her ex, and her family was all out of state. Instead of resigning herself to lying in bed all day in misery, she sought others in the same boat. What she realized was there were quite a few parents she knew in the same boat on Christmas. She offered to host a “Friends without Family” Christmas Dinner. Setting her best china, she asked friends to each bring a dish to share and two identical gifts, one to exchange and one to give. After their gift exchange and a satisfying meal, the group headed to a nearby city to hand out plates of leftovers and the extra gifts wrapped to the homeless. What could have been a handful of lonely people quickly became a day of cheer and giving.
By focusing on happiness, she was able to bring joy and happiness to not only friends but some unexpected homeless. What stood out to me about this client as she was ready to embrace the season with a realistic approach; she kept a positive outlook avoiding isolation, and she focused on others rather than her circumstances. Not allowing her situation to overwhelm her, she was able to find happiness in the changes around her. In many ways, the most important lesson is to gift yourself the permission to be happy in the most beautiful time of the year!

Christine Olsen, SMD Life Coaching
Christine is a Certified Life Coach with nearly ten years of experience. She is deemed an expert in Transitional Coaching, specializing in relationship, divorce, and hospice coaching. Transitional coaching involves helping clients recognize and navigate change taking place in their lives. Whether the change is by choice or circumstantial, Christine helps clients deal with difficult situations and emotions, while providing navigational tools to thrive in the conditions you face.

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