At a time when many families are busy planning a warm Christmas holiday surrounded by loved ones, there are others who look toward the season with loneliness and dread. Almost every childhood memory of Christmas involves sharing laughter, love, and gifts, but perhaps you just aren't able to relive those memories this year.
Being alone during the winter season can be discouraging. Not only are you lonely, but it's also freezing cold! That combination of factors can make anyone blue and it's totally understandable if you're at that point
Fortunately, there are ways to counteract your feelings and bring some warmth to your inner heart!
1. Care for the homeless. If you check your local newspaper or watch a community channel, you'll very likely find stories about shelters that are doing something special for the homeless this winter. Why not sign up as a volunteer and take part in the following ways:
* Being a food server as homeless people come into a shelter for meals is one of the most inspiring, selfless things you can do.
* Reading bedtime stories to kids who seek refuge in a homeless shelter is a great way to bond with someone and open your heart to caring for another person. Many homeless kids don't know what it feels like to have someone care for them. Seeing their eyes light up with pleasure can bring you as much joy as it does them.
* Taking some warm clothes to homeless people can be a heartwarming experience for you as well. Your generous act contributes to the comfort, health, and safety of those who might be in dire straits without your help.
The significance of these suggestions hinges on the reality they all change your focus away from yourself to outward and others or someone else outside of yourself.
The ugly truth is we are all selfish by nature – we’re wired that way because of sin. Only God can change our hearts to be naturally inclined to serve others.
2. Donate to charity. If you're not inclined to visit a homeless shelter, or if you don't have the opportunity to do so, you could always make a meaningful donation to a charity of your choice. You won't be directly involved in the lives of those to whom you've contributed, but your contribution will still be felt.
* Make a meaningful cash deposit to the Salvation Army account.
* Ship a box of fun toys and gifts, individually wrapped, to a local children's home.
* Purchase tickets to Disneyworld especially for a named child and guardian at a home of your choice.
3. Take a vacation. There's no better time to treat yourself to an exciting vacation than during a winter when you're feeling lonely. Pick somewhere with lots of activities and allow yourself to be open to meeting other people who are perhaps wearing the exact shoes that you are.
* Go skiing in the mountains.
* Spend a few days at a spa resort.
* Visit a country you've always wanted to visit
It's so easy to give in to those feelings of loneliness, but taking purposeful action to make your moments bright and memorable this winter will bring you the warmth you crave. Get a new lease on life in the cold of winter by using these simple-to-implement strategies!
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