It has been a hard year for most of us. Make that two hard years since the pandemic hit home. I guess most of us have been affected in more ways than we dare to think. Loved ones lost, health compromised and jobs or businesses ruined forever. Indeed to be alive at this time is to be a winner. It could have been worse.


Thus as we come to the end of 2021, and are hoping for a better 2022, why not show some gratitude? There are those who have been more unfortunate than us, and we need to show them some love. How can we do that in these difficult times? Here are five ways to celebrate the season and show that gratitude for being alive.


First, and probably most important, we could have a mindset change and think of our glass as half full rather than half empty. A positive attitude to life increases our personal well-being and health. In addition, being positive is contagious and will infect others with warmness! Let us all for a moment forget our differences and remember that we can make the world a better place. For this festive season, despite all the vicissitudes of life, I choose to be positive and dream of a better tomorrow and it all starts with a smile.


Second, is we can choose to give. There are lots of things we own that we don’t need. We could use this festive season to declutter our homes. You would be surprised how much we own that we wanted yesterday but do not really need today. Clothes and shoes we have not worn in eons, trinkets and other wares laying around our homes. There is someone out there who could use that stuff we are hoarding. In this festive season, it would be better to give than to receive. Go on and help a someone who needs a hand. If you do it anonymously, the better.


A third suggestion is we could do something for Mother Earth. It is the only home we have and unlike Musk or Bezos, we have no hope of moving to space. Plant a tree, or rehabilitate the village’s water springs. Not many of us are practicing mindfulness as far as mother Earth is concerned but our omission is condemning our children to the serious vagaries of climate change. We can help ourselves by thinking green. Think green, this festive season and waste not.


A fourth way in which you could really enjoy this festive season is by improving your knowledge through reading. Find a great book (say an autobiography) and a quiet place and immerse yourself. If you are not the reading type, find some youths who need motivation and  mentor or skill them. There is nothing like passing on knowledge or helping others to be better persons.


A fifth suggestion is you could use the season to look after your health. Do a medical check-up, detox and catch up on that exercise. There is nothing that gives a better high than a feeling of wellness. Runners know it and that is why they are always out in the fields doing their thing. You could also eat less and more healthy this festive season, and discover the joys of wellness. Some solitude would also help you focus on the plans you have for next year. Go on and be kind to your mind and body!


Wherever you choose to be and whatever you choose to do this festive season, do practice some mindfulness and show some care for others. Remember the words of the Desiderata by Max Ehrmann – “…whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”


Samuel Sejjaaka is Country Team Leader at MAT ABACUS Business School. Twitter @samuelsejjaaka