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Self-Care Tip: Savor and Celebrate the Small Things

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After a year of Zoom meetings, happy hours, birthdays, baby showers, weddings, graduations—you name it, there was probably a Zoom for it—many of us are looking forward to gathering again in person.

In fact, celebrations contribute to our life in significant ways beyond having an excuse to put on clothes that actually have structure and buttons (although we have become quite attached to our sweatpants this past year!)—they actually help to create and cement relationships. “It’s really important that post-pandemic we embrace more and more celebrating,” said Dr. Tyler J. VanderWeele, epidemiology and biostatistics professor and director of Harvard’s Human Flourishing Program.

Even the small moments or victories should be celebrated! Psychologists call it “savoring.” Savoring is about appreciating an event or activity in the moment and noticing the good things around you.

One way of savoring the moment is through photography. In fact, a 2012 study of college students found that taking part in “mindful photography” resulted in overall improvements in mood and a significantly greater sense of appreciation for college life.

Activity:

  • Take at least five photos of your everyday life: friends, food you like, books you enjoy, etc.

  • Do this twice a week for two weeks.

  • Reflect on the photos through meditating or journaling—anything that brings back what you felt during those moments of joy to bring your focus back to the good in your life.

If taking photos isn’t your thing, research shows you can also partake in savoring moments like spending time with a friend, doing self-care, or taking a walk and enjoying the beauty around you.

Source: “The Other Side of Languishing is Flourishing. Here’s How to Get There.”

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