My New Year’s Resolution was to always have peace with everyone including myself. I strive to get better, and better how I relate with others each day. I believe part of the peace I am seeking comes from self-reflection. The only way to realize my mistakes is to boldly look at myself “in the mirror,” so to speak. It’s not easy to do. It takes courage, but it is SO worth it once you become aware of patterns of behavior. When you are friends with everyone including YOU. You realize that even those that seem to be in opposition may be helping you. Getting back up only makes you stronger! But you have to like YOU first.
One of the ways I perform self-reflection is through writing my thoughts down. I began the practice of journaling years ago as a teen when I had no audience. Writing for myself comes easy. If you are not much of a writer, remember that no one else has to see your writing. You don’t have to share your inner-most-thoughts. Writing helps me, and I believe it can help you too. Complete happiness requires self-reflection, many people are afraid of it. It’s a lot of work. Writing is more than a need for me it’s a necessity!
Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Injury Solutions! website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for fifteen years. Her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages. Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming challenges, and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, the Breathe Writers Conference blog, newsletters, guest posts, and medical journals. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.
Have you thought about your goals this holiday season? Any New Year’s resolutions? Have you thought about ways to stay healthy? Or keep the holiday cheer? Holidays are fun but can be a demanding, busy time as we try to meet the needs of our family and friends. There are gifts to be bought, turkeys to be cooked, and trees to be put up!
During this hectic period, it’s easy to feel a lot of stress. In giving, the giver feels just as rewarded as the receiver, if not more. However, we sometimes forget to give to ourselves. In your time of giving, don’t neglect your own needs. This will help to reduce anxiety, and keep you calm throughout the season.
Would you like to improve your finances? Volunteer? Do you want to feed the poor? Maybe you want to make some healthy lifestyle choices such as eating better, or losing weight? Whatever your goals, I wish you success!
Let’s prepare to stay merry. Here are some tips to keep you in the holiday spirit!
- Be thankful – Nurture a thankful heart. It’s hard to be unhappy when your heart is brimming with thanks! By changing your attitude, you can experience joy even when circumstances don’t change.
- Trust – Develop the trust that life will provide you with what you need. Serenity comes from contentment with what you have.
- Forgive – Let go of resentment and remorse which wastes energy on yesterday. Forgive and live today.
- Give to yourself – Give yourself compassion and understanding. Recognize your abilities and value.
- Savor life – Enjoy the taste of cranberry bread, the smell of Christmas cookies, the sight of sunrise.
- Do something for someone in need – Write a letter to a lonely friend, make a phone call to an ill relative, or bake a pumpkin pie to welcome your new neighbors.
- Love – Remember the deeper truth of life – you are loved. When you feel holiday stress, remember the voice of God who beckons, “Come to me when you are weary, and I will give you rest.”
May your holiday and New Year be filled with joy, happiness, and peace.
– This holiday letter is reposted from a newsletter I edited for health care