This holiday season feels like a mercy arriving at the end of a really tough year. We’ve been through a lot in 2020, and most of us feel like we’re ready for it to be over, already.
But rather than stumble through this holiday season, we have an opportunity to come to terms with what’s behind us and face 2021 with hope and resilience. Gratitude, joy, hope, peace, healing — these are all things that we desperately need right now, and they are dispositions at the heart of the Advent season.
So we’ve put together a bundle of Advent resources and content to help us remember who we are and where we are going — to cast our experience of the past year, as well as our hopes for the future, in #ABetterLight. From now through the New Year, we’ll be sharing content and conversations about mental health, wellbeing, and self-care in a campaign under that hashtag.
Elements will unfold on social media, so be sure to follow us there @GrottoNetwork to join the discussion and share your experience. Here’s a roadmap to get us from a terrible 2020 to a resilient and hope-filled 2021.
#ABetterLight Journaling Challenge
Journaling is an excellent way to process our experiences and deepen our self-understanding. That kind of self-knowledge allows us to be intentional and clear about our strengths and needs. And if it’s prayerful, it also sets our feet firmly on the ground of God’s love, which gives us stability.
Download the journaling challenge here — either as a full package with space for your own reflections, or (if you have your own journal) as a one-pager with a summary of the prompts. If you follow along with the challenge by tackling one prompt each day, you’ll have something to guide your reflection from now through the New Year. But you can always go cafeteria-style and hop around to what’s helpful.
The challenge is organized to present a new theme each week — gratitude, joy, hope, peace, and healing — and will help you reflect on the habits you’d like to take into the new year. And the first journal prompt each week is specially crafted for public sharing on each theme. The Grotto community will be offering our own impressions and experiences with posts under #aBetterLight, and we invite you to join.
Q+A livestreaming with a therapist
Mark your calendars for Wednesday, December 9, at 9 p.m. — we’ll be hosting a livestreaming session with licensed therapist Julia Hogan. It will be an opportunity to tune in and ask her anything you might be wondering about mental health or therapy.
Content and support
Throughout the Advent and Christmas season, we’ll publish content every day aimed at supporting wellbeing. These pieces will include first-hand accounts from writers who are intentionally tending to their mental health and healing, as well as advice from experts such as Julia.
In addition, in collaboration with the Hallow app, we’ll offer brief videos every Thursday to offer new experiences of guided meditation. And be on the lookout for other elements on our social platforms, such as reflective coloring pages (see below) and prayer graphics on Sundays.
If you feel like you’re reaching the end of 2020 at the end of your rope, you’re not alone — we’re all walking this road together. Join our Grotto community as we navigate the way together, guided by #ABetterLight.
Grotto is grateful to the Our Sunday Visitor Institute for their generous support for this Advent campaign — #ThanksOSV!