5 worthwhile ways to spend a Sunday afternoon

Sunday afternoon can be a stressful time if you're single.

Maybe you run errands on Saturday. You may go out on Saturday night. But when Sunday afternoon comes around, the weekend is winding down, and you feel lonely and depressed.

You can pull yourself out of the doldrums with a little planning and assertiveness. Here are some ways to make this time something you look forward to, rather than dread.

1. Update your address book and...

write short notes of encouragement to two friends or family members you haven't spoken with in a long time. One of life's sweetest treasures is a personal letter from a friend who cares. It's easy and quick to make a phone call, but letters are cherished because they're something rare. A personal letter is like a hug in an envelope.

2. Instead of going to the mall...

donate to your favorite charity. Know that your donation can make a major difference in someone's life. Two of my favorites are Christian Blind Mission International (www.cbmiusa.org) and Smile Train (www.SmileTrain.org). Both of these nonprofits perform life-altering surgery on people in developing countries. You don't need to donate a lot--$10 will help when put with the donations of other people.

3. Find an interesting event in the newspaper...

then call a friend to go with you. If the first few people can't go, keep calling until you find someone who will. It often takes some assertiveness to get things started. You'll both come home feeling energized.

4. Bake some cookies or a special treat...

to take to your area at work on Monday morning. Monday can be a dreary day, and some people get visibly depressed on the first day of the work week. This small gesture will pick up everybody's spirits.

5. Buy a stuffed animal...

for your church's nursery, or drop it off at a hospital's emergency room. Or hide it in your closet until Christmas time, then donate it to one of the toy drives in your city. You'll feel great knowing you brought joy to some small child's heart.




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