“Let us pray, asking for the joy of Christmas.” (Pope Francis)
The Christmas season is a time of reflection. As we prepare for the birth of Jesus, it is normal to feel mixed emotions. Some of our strongest feelings are connected to our families and friends, so this time of year can stir up many memories. While this helps us remember what is important in our life, we may also be reminded of things we are missing or have lost.
“Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” (Henri Nouwen). When we choose to notice the simple things that bring us joy each day, we enhance our well-being and improve our daily life. We all deserve more joy.
In today’s Wellness Wednesday, we explore ways to choose joy.
As a class, group, or family:
- Breathing deeply can to help calm big feelings. Try this “Hot Chocolate Breathing” exercise.
- Take a deep breath in through your nose.
- Imagine smelling the hot chocolate.
- Slowly blow the breath out to cool it down.
- Repeat this a few times.
As Pope Francis explains, joy is more than an emotion. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Joy is a choice we make. Together, talk about the idea to choose joy. Here are some conversation starters:
As Pope Francis explains, joy is more than an emotion. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Joy is a choice we make. Together, talk about the idea to choose joy.
How can we appreciate the small details of the season that matter to us? Ideas: music, hymns, food, desserts, time with loved ones, etc.
What are some ways to embrace the little things this Christmas? Ideas: the excitement of children, how the sun makes snow sparkle, quiet moments, meaningful traditions, etc.
What gratitude practice can we do daily? Ideas: write in a gratitude journal, say Pope
Francis’ Five Finger Prayer, share what we’re thankful for, etc. · Next, individually complete the “Fill your Mug with Joy and Warmth” worksheet. Invite people to share their ideas. Encourage others to add to their mugs if they hear an idea that they like.
Ask yourself, there is no wrong answer:
What joys are in our life? How can we find more?
How can we choose to be joyful during the holidays, even though they may feel different?
Connecting to our faith:
“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Isaiah 35:10)
The 3rd Sunday of Advent symbolizes JOY. The "Shepherd’s Candle" reminds us of the joy the world experienced at the coming birth of Jesus. God is always a reason for joy. Even during times of difficulty and sadness, we can rely on His presence within us to provide the strength and consolation we need.
· VIDEO: Brené Brown on Joy and Gratitude https://youtu.be/2IjSHUc7TXM
· HYMN: Joy To The World https://youtu.be/cr8myPmEpWw
· ADULT BOOK: “Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough” by Kay Warren
· VIDEO: Audio Meditation – Joy https://youtu.be/CMcx9tJ70rA
Employees of LDCSB check out WorkLifeHealth from EAP Provider Morneau Sheppell We welcome your feedback, click here!