February may seem too soon for a declaration that the sun is
returning, but it can rise inside you.

Here are four ways you make the sun shine every day regardless of
the weather.

1. Gratitude. You don’t have to wait to be happy to feel grateful.
Brother David Steindl – Rast wrote, “It is not joy that makes us
grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” You can feel grateful
about simple things like a stranger’s smile, blue skies, or a great
work-out. The joy of gratitude will grow if you take note of the
events in a gratitude journal.

2. Connections. Research shows that relationships with friends and
family are a powerful source of positive emotions. Facetime or
Zoom with them. A visual connection is best. Send them home-
made valentines or even elementary school versions to show you
care.

3. Pride. Create a pride folder that contains “atta girl” letters from
customers or clients. You can tuck in there thank-you notes from
dinner guests who raved about your cooking. My favorite is a card
from my son declaring me the best Mom in the world. You can add
to the folder notes you create to commemorate successes that may

not have come with a certificate or ribbon. Maybe winning a pie-
baking or chili contest. Just remembering these successes will lift
your mood.

4. Contribute. Make a contribution no matter how small to a charity
that you care about. The organization will appreciate it and so will
you. You did good!

“In the midst of winter, I found there was in me an
invincible summer.” Jean-Paul Sartre