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Woman wearing green with shamrock background
Woman wearing green with shamrock background
Rebecca Courteau

Here’s Why You Should Make A Big Deal of Small Holidays

Valentine’s Day has come and gone and St. Patrick’s Day is just around the bend. Pull out the shamrock glasses and green feather boas because even if it seems inconsequential, the benefits of celebrating the little holidays can improve your mental health and outlook on life. 

Taking the time out of the week to have a gathering, party or even just a private acknowledgment of a “little” holiday forces you to be more aware of recent achievements and what you’re grateful for in life, according to an article by the Harvard Business Review.

“Even small wins can boost inner work life tremendously,” academics Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer wrote. “On the flip side, small losses or setbacks can have an extremely negative effect. [Celebrations] don’t need to happen after curing cancer in order to be meaningful. They simply must matter to the person doing it.”

When we pull out an obnoxious amount of decorations or remind ourselves that it’s a day of happiness, the little circuit in our brains that rewards us with feelings of pride and joy is activated. Dopamine, a chemical that promotes happiness and motivation, floods your brain after a celebration.

The Target dollar section has steals no matter what holiday you’re shopping for. Their heart-shaped dutch ovens are to die for and they’ll also have you covered for a St. Patrick’s Day party. They also carry New Year’s decor, Labor Day signage and confetti and streamers year-round. Channel your inner creative! It’s never too late to find a reason to celebrate. 

Inherent fun comes with the holiday season, but it can be harder for some to experience. Family issues, politics or just a reminder that time is passing can plague peoples’ minds. But even if you’re alone, that doesn’t mean you still can’t make the most of what you have. Bake something, put on your favorite show, call up an old friend and lay on the couch with your favorite face mask on. There’s nothing wrong with making up your own holiday for peace of mind. Remember, as Cyndi Lauper put it, “girls just wanna have fun!”

Emma Lingo

Mizzou '23

Emma Lingo spends her time working as a barista at her local coffee shop, reading and being vocal about social justice issues. Emma is active with student government, student media and local nonprofits. She hopes to be a journalist one day and to live out her life in the mountains with her cat.
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