This year, Mercy is doing something unique to promote emotional health during the holiday season. The healthcare organization is asking area residents to take time to count and share their blessings. The business has even established a website at www.ourblessingscount.com where community members can share their blessings, invite friends and family members to share blessings and read the blessings posted by others.
"During the holidays, the noise level around us is at an all-time high," said Dr. Doug Walker, psychologist and clinical director of Mercy Family Center in New Orleans. "There's so much clutter and unrealistic expectations to cut through. With all the holiday hype, we're under increasing pressure to buy expensive gifts for people who don't need them and finish a to-do list a mile long. We burn ourselves out and are unable to experience the joy of the season. The very act of verbalizing, listing or journaling what you have to be thankful for reduces stress. It stops us in our tracks. There's almost something magical about listing what you have to be thankful for."
As I wrote this editorial, I took a moment to visit www.ourblessingscount.com and add a blessing of my own to the website. My blessing increased the Our Blessings Count total to 1,037.
I hope over the coming weeks, all area residents will take time to visit the site and add their blessings. You can share as many blessings as you like, and I plan to help increase the total by listing other things for which I am thankful. It would be nice to see the number of blessings shared top one million by the end of the year, and it would be wonderful to know that community members are taking time to slow down and enjoy the true magic of the holiday season.