From Linda Priestley, Editor-in-Chief
Given the title above and the approaching holiday season, you may be thinking “Here she comes in her Santa suit wanting to talk to us about charity.” And you’d be right. But allow me to clarify: my subject is charity to yourself.
We give—and we give of ourselves—in all kinds of ways: at work, with our family, with our friends, and in the community and beyond. According to recent data, it seems we’re being increasingly generous when it comes to giving to charities, no doubt inspired by the pandemic. And even if COVID-19 has slowed us down (in spite of ourselves) in our volunteer efforts, we’re still putting our shoulders to the wheel to help our neighbours. Many people really need support, and we’re glad to give it.
But giving to yourself is also essential for well-being: yours and other people’s. It’s good to be good to yourself. Travel, fine meals, and outings are just a few of the ways you can spoil yourself, and in this issue, you’ll find some other great morale boosters and ideas for self-care therapy.
There are also the little gifts each day brings, such as that moment when you wake up. “Happiness is a choice you make every morning when you open your eyes and become aware of your breath,” as my colleague Christine Lapointe, an art director, wisely says. (As a matter of fact, you can actually relearn the ability to breathe like an innocent baby; this intuitive breathing feeds your whole body with oxygen and can get you back on your feet at any time during the day.)
Laughter and smiles will also put you in a good mood, and they’re contagious. Even simpler: drink some water—when you’re well hydrated, you feel less overwhelmed by your worries. At the same time, you can remind yourself that water is a precious commodity and that many people in many countries don’t have easy access to it like we do. That thought can provide a bit of perspective and put you in touch once again with your humanitarian side.
One gift you can give yourself is allowing yourself to be or feel content even while knowing that others aren’t as fortunate or are suffering. Empathy without guilt. I invite you to read We Are the Light by Matthew Quick (the author of The Silver Linings Playbook), a recent novel that reminds us that grief is complex and that even in the aftermath of a tragic event, we can find happiness again and help those who need more time to heal. It’s not easy, but it’s necessary if you want to bring happiness to others—and spread it everywhere.
Photo: Laurence Labat