Let’s start with a question – how do you feel about the holiday season? Do you love it? Do you feel like you SHOULD love it? Or is it a challenging time for you?
If for you it’s the latter, this week’s blog/vid is for you!
So how to handle the holiday blues? I have a few key pieces of advice, one, in particular, that may surprise you.
Sometimes the holidays and seasonal celebrations can highlight what you feel is missing in your life – what you don’t have or haven’t created – particularly when it comes to relationships and family. And the pressure to be seen as ‘happy’ this time of year can really leave you feeling like a Grinch if you’re having a tough time – even when there are legitimate reasons for you feeling that way.
There can be many factors contributing to your holiday blues – stress; over-indulging; seasonal affective disorder; financial constraints at a time when buying lots of gifts might be expected; and find yourself disappointed that the season is just not living up to your expectations.
One of the ways we can make the holiday season better for ourselves is with a proactive boundary plan – by consciously working on making it easier and more fun.
A few other things to consider:
- Anniversaries: This time of year can bring with it a feeling of sadness and gloom for those of us who have lost loved ones or suffered some trauma around these dates. Be aware of any such anniversaries, acknowledge them, and try to flip your script to one of gratitude for great memories and moments instead.
- Over-scheduling: Don’t over-commit! If you have really struggled with feelings of sadness in the past, sometimes the most helpful thing you can do is to surrender to the feeling instead of making yourself wrong for it. Being mean to yourself is NOT going to make you feel better. So give yourself time and space to honor your emotions, and maybe look out for Blue Holiday Services in your area – which are beautiful celebrations where people gather together to acknowledge the holidays without the forced sense of happiness that can sometimes be so difficult to be around when you’re feeling blue. And if you need support – seek it out.
- Listen to your body: If you find that every year you get what is sometimes called Winter Depression, it can be biologically based, like SAD. So practice some self-love and get your Vitamin D levels checked or look into a sun lamp to boost those dopamine levels.
It’s easy to feel like you have to just muscle through the holidays and do what you’ve always done. But the truth is, you DON’T have to – it’s perfectly acceptable to be discerning about what invitations you accept, and what you commit to this time of year. In fact, if you really feel like you need to get away – take a holiday (somewhere warm and sunny wouldn’t hurt.) Be honest and open about your boundaries and needs, and communicate with your loved ones about the fact that you need to look after yourself.
[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]This year I encourage you to honor your feelings and intuition and make time for yourself. [/tweet_box]I also invite you to think about donating your time to those less fortunate. Nothing is as satisfying as helping and being kind to others, and you can volunteer at any number of places where you can add true value and tap into the true meaning of the holidays; spreading love and compassion. It is an emotional and karmic Win-Win.
Please share with us in the comments below on how you deal with holiday blues or any strategies that have worked for you so we can all support each other through the season.
And as always, take care of you.