The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Author: Dr. Sarah Mischo, DMD

For many people the holidays are a special time that is greatly anticipated all year long. It’s a time to reminisce on childhood memories and traditions, and a time to make new ones. But the holidays can also be a source of great stress and anxiety as we deal with the increased pace of the season, struggle to make the holidays live up to our high expectations, or have to spend this special time apart from those we want to be with.

As I’m facing a busy, and challenging, season of my own, I’ve found comfort thinking about the deeper purpose of the holidays: reflecting on the blessings we’ve received throughout the year and wishing the best for ourselves and others in the year to come.

My husband tells me daily to “hunt the good stuff,” and I’m sure many military families have heard the same. While it might sometimes feel silly or simple to intentionally focus on the good things around us, growing evidence from the fields of sociology and psychology directly links intentional gratitude and optimism with improved relationships, increased mental wellness, and even better physical health.

I’ve been learning these same things in an unexpected place, too. As the weather has cooled, and I’ve found myself curled up on the couch watching more television than I probably should, I’ve been burning my way through Apple TV’s series, “Ted Lasso.” For those of you who haven’t had the privilege of watching the show, Ted Lasso is a division two American college football coach who gets hired to coach professional “football” (a.k.a soccer) across the pond in Europe. When he gets there his knowledge of the game is extremely minimal, and the locals are highly skeptical of him and his abilities to succeed. But Ted has one thing that allows him to succeed at coaching-a positive, infectious, and upbeat personality that never fails him despite a series of often-hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking, setbacks.

I know no one comes to their dentist for life advice or TV recommendations, but I’ve been doing my best to inject a little more “Ted” into my thoughts and actions this holiday season. I’ve been trying hard to focus on the positives in my life, and doing my best to bring some cheer to others around me. And while I certainly haven’t always succeeded, I’ve found my life brightening just a little bit all the same. Maybe it’s something we can all do better the whole year round!