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Be Contagious

Oh, by gosh, by golly, it's time for mistletoe and holly ... (thanks Frank Sinatra)

Greetings everyone as the countdown is on! Christmas week is here and whether you celebrate it as a religious holiday or simply a time to get together with friends, you can't miss it. There are decorations wherever you go, Christmas music playing in the background of stores and restaurants, and "gift ideas" filling up our email.

For the second year in a row, there's also COVID vying for our attention and doing its best to distract us from joy and happiness. So, of course, I have a suggestion:

"Find your own happy alignment

and then send that energy out to anyone

who wants to 'catch it' ".

I get it. This pandemic has been tough and taken its toll on everyone. The worst part is when we feel hopeless and helpless. Feeling like there's nothing we can do is beyond frustrating, however, I have learned that there is always something we can do. Whenever I'm feeling low or discouraged, I go to Viktor Frankl, an Austrian philosopher, psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor, for inspiration. He wrote and spoke extensively about finding ways to find meaning and carry on in difficult times. Two of his quotes stand out for me at the moment:

"Everything can be taken from a man [or woman] but one thing:

the last of the human freedoms --

to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances,

to choose one's own way."


"When we are no longer able to change a situation,

we are challenged to change ourselves."

What does this mean? The way I see it, instead of feeling defeated and living

in the energy of discouragement, we can take stock and find ways to pull ourselves out of the gloom and doom. Here are a few I've used when I've been


  • Exercise. It might mean a brisk walk outside or some yoga or a Peloton workout. Immerse yourself in the physicality of it -- sweat, a little or a lot,

  • Dance. Start out slow. Find some music that lets you feel the sadness or frustration through movement. Then, build on that and change up the tunes to be more upbeat or even ecstatic. I highly recommend Gabrielle Roth's 5Rhythms.

  • Write. Get some paper or a notebook and just start writing. Put down your feelings - anger, irritation, disappointment. Do it in whatever way helps you purge. Scribble, go outside the lines, write with your non-dominant hand ... set a timer for 15, 20 or 30 minutes and let it all out.

  • Meditate. Sit quietly, perhaps after you've worked out some of your exasperation. Focus on your breathing, following it in and out and be comforted by it's pattern.

  • Make a list of gratitudes. Big, small, silly, serious -- write them all down and truly focus on them as you count them.

Do this alone or with a friend or friends, but if you decide to make it a group effort, be careful not to stay in the energy of complaining.

Once you start to feel better, let that grow. Instead of worrying about getting or spreading the virus, stay safe and follow the science -- get vaccinated, wear a mask, avoid large crowds and build up your immune system. At the same time, freely spread your optimism, gratitude, positivity and joy. Give everyone with whom you come in contact, a chance to "catch it". In the holiday spirit, this is what I wish for you.

Sparkles and Love,


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About the Author




Barbara L Cummings, MS, RN

the Mindful Maven and Mistress of Meditation, is a sassy Queen-ager, mentor, confidante and trusted guide who provides people with everyday life support. 

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