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December 2020

From The Smile Side of Life

WellBeing for U!
Creativity on Call

Good-Bye 2020!
January 2020 seems so long ago. I remember that I was planning a new version of my book, "Treading Water" and subtitling it, "2020- The Year of Seeing Clearly." By March, that "seeing clearly" idea had become very cloudy indeed. And now, in December 2020, we are dealing with a public health crisis as well as political upheaval still swirling around us, very much like the choking smoke of a wildfire.

How then, can we think about laughter and happiness? For many of us, sheer survival has taken precedence, with job loss and health issues. Pandemic fatigue is a real thing, as we grow weary of isolation and precautions. As I wash my cloth masks in a bowl of soapy water and hang them to dry, I find myself wondering if wearing one of these will become as ubiquitous as carrying a cell phone. Will we end up viewing maskless days as old fashioned as rotary phones?

What we shouldn't do, is set aside laughter as something we enjoyed in the old days. We can't put happiness on a shelf for "someday." Without these, we have no resilience to help us manage difficulties, inconveniences, "new normals" and permanent life changes. We need to look for laughter and pursue happiness on a daily basis in order to build up our resilience.

I know that there are days when the only thing we can be grateful for is that the day is over. With a healthy level of resilience, you can rise the next day with renewed energy and a feeling of hope. During this 2020 Holiday season, we may find ourselves stressed and stretched even more than in previous years. We may not be able to celebrate the way we have in the past. We may find ourselves facing a new year full of uncertainty. Take time to self-care - remember you cannot take care of others unless you take care of yourself. See below for some links you may find helpful, including a link to a Laughter Break session at OLLI-RU in January that may be "just what the doctor ordered" for all of us in the New Year.

until next time, Don't Go Gently, Go Laughing!

Humor was another of the soul’s weapons in the fight for self-preservation.
It is well known that humor, more than anything else in the human make-up, can afford an aloofness and an ability to rise above any situation,
even if only for a few seconds.
- Viktor Frankl

News and Updates
I'll be teaching a ten part class and a one part class for the Winter Session at the Osher Lifelong Learning Center At Rutgers University:

Take A Laughter Break for the Health of It

Living, Working, and Thriving on the Smile Side of Life

Holiday Traditions: Why Looking Back This Year Can Help Move Forward

Be Happy Like a Baby: Here's What Babies Can Teach Us About Altruism

5 Habits to Support Well-Being During Times of High Stress

If your workplace, organization or social group would like to take a Laughter Break or learn about 5 Habits that Build Resilience and Enhance Well-Being, these presentations are available virtually and can be a much needed boost for at home workers or socially distant friends, family, and group members. A great way to help put some Ho-Ho-Ho into the holiday seasion.

Email me at:

Visit The New Smile Side of Life Mini Website
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