The new year is approaching, and we know many of our neighbors in El Cerrito, Oakland, and Berkeley are thinking about their New Year’s resolutions. This is the time for not only a refresh, but it’s a chance to consciously do something different in the coming year.
Our New Year’s resolution at Sunset View Cemetery and Mortuary is to focus on gratitude.
We know the idea of gratitude may be difficult if you’ve recently suffered a loss. You might be thinking, “I just lost my dad. Why should I be grateful?” or “Life will never be the same without Mom.” It’s easy to lose hope and reflect on how difficult this past year has been but starting the new year with a note on gratitude and a positive attitude will help you down the right path.
When you learn to appreciate what and who you’re surrounded by, you’ll realize just how many blessings you truly have. What’s more is that it doesn’t take much to take a step in the right direction. A gratitude journal is a good place to start. Studies show that people who keep gratitude journals are happier, more optimistic, and even more likely to reach their goals. Every day write down what you’re grateful for and who you appreciate in your life. This internal happiness will show itself through your actions toward others.
We also know that the holidays will look different this year due to COVID-19. Many who usually travel are staying home, which means family gatherings simply might not be possible. If you won’t be seeing family for the holidays, it’s especially important to practice gratitude. During a difficult time, this is a practical way to boost your mental health! Remember, it’s still possible to keep holiday traditions alive, no matter how far apart you are from family.
Try this for New Year’s Eve: Make a pact with family members to take a few moments at midnight (or earlier in the day) to reflect on the past year and what you have to be grateful for.
If you make gratitude a priority, it keeps life in perspective. Sure, some might say you’re looking at life through rose-colored glasses, but you’ll see the good in life if you search for it. Also remember that being thankful is a choice. Each day, do you want to focus on what you don’t have, or would you rather appreciate the people in your life and the opportunities you’ve been given? If you dwell on what’s missing, your life won’t ever be enough. Choosing to appreciate even the small things will help you move toward a happy and fulfilling life.
The feeling of hopelessness often comes easily in a world full of tragedy and grief. So before making your 2021 resolution, consider inserting gratitude into your life every day. You’ll realize there’s good around you – you just have to look for it. If you’re struggling with a loss during these difficult times, use our aftercare resources on our website as a guide.