Here comes the Holidays! The Triple Three bombard you all within a month: Thanksgiving, Christmas (Hanukah, Kwanza) and New Year’s Eve. The Media does a great job of making it all look happy, fun, warm, and full of celebratory gatherings of family and friends.
But what no one talks about are the facts that these are media pictures, TV holiday specials, and warm Hallmark movies. They are played by actors all to promote the selling of products. It may be true that your holidays are filled with cheer and love. But what about the holidays for people who are alone, grieving, sick, or have dysfunctional families?
There are no happy pictures of people in sick beds. You don’t often find a holiday card with someone by a grave site. There are only a few movies that show Uncle Jay getting drunk and wanting to fight or Grandma nagging you about your job, weight or lack of a partner. There are no paintings of Mom and Dad fighting in front of the fire or finding no gifts under the tree. This is the truth for many people during the holidays. But what are you to do if you are one of these types of people.
Beat the Blues
Let me share a personal story of a different nature to illustrate how to change the Blues to Sunny Skies! About 12 years ago, my husband started going to long out-of-town conventions for work. These conventions featured fancy hotels, elegant meals, and exciting tours or activities in new cities. The first time he went, I shared with him that I would be sad, lonely and a little scared (home alone) while he was away and to please call. He not only was gone for 5 days, had a blast but he also never called. I was sad, lonely and a little scared during that time. However, it is not in my nature to just roll over and complain. I vowed that I would never be sad and lonely while he was on a business trip again. After that, I planned all kinds of fun undertakings while he was away. I would visit friends, sit with neighbors by the fire, have a dinner party, go out to lunch with a colleague, participate in a pleasurable activity, go to the theater, or get a massage. I stay so busy and have so much fun doing things I don’t normally do that I am never sad or lonely. Now my husband wishes he could stay home with me. You can apply this same philosophy to the Holidays.
Ideas to Bust the Holiday Blues
Plan ahead: Realize this is a tough time for you and plan ways to stay occupied and happy. If you get overwhelmed by all the work, find ways to simplify. Buy and wrap gifts early, plan your menus two months ahead of time. Here is my plan: first weekend in November (write Christmas letters and put up outside decorations), 2nd weekend, (prepare all letters to be mailed), 3rd weekend; plan Thanksgiving dinner with menu, day before Thanksgiving (prep cook), weekend after Thanksgiving put up indoor decorations and the next two weeks buy and wrap gifts. You get the picture. If you’re not having celebrations, fill up your time.
Start your own Holiday Traditions: You can create new Holiday traditions that suit you. Go out for Chinese food with a friend: invite someone over to watch a favorite movie and have a bowl of chili, take an idea from the movie, “Rudolf the Red-=nosed Reindeer” and have a misfits party or see what events are happening around your city that would be fun to do. Use your imagination and come up with a Holiday celebration that would be fun for you.
Exercise: Exercise is very healthy and works out the sad chemicals. Even if it is a nice walk…you can get your body moving.
Healthy Habits: Maintain fit practices like getting a good night’s sleep and eating nutritional low-calorie meals. Overdoing one meal is no big deal. Just get back on track.
Admit your feelings. Don’t force yourself to act happy all the time. You can admit to yourself that this is a tough time for you for whatever reason (death, bad memories, all alone). You can say to yourself, “Yes, this is difficult, and I am going to allow myself to express my disheartened feelings a little each day, but then I am going to be proactive and do something positive.
Reach out. If you are feeling isolated, blue or lonely, seek out ways to connect with others. Attend a community event, go to a Vet’s hospital, nursing home or a soup kitchen. Volunteering to help others is a good way to lift your spirits. One little boy went around handing out a piece of candy to each person downtown and just saying, “I Care.”
Stick to a Budget. Giving is always about what is in your heart. You do not need to spend money to give. Stay within your ability to pay. Don’t end your holidays with bills you can’t afford. Give homemade baked goods, offer to do a chore, spend special time with your loved one or say you will make a point to communicate regularly. Giving is not just materialistic but of your time or resources.
These are just a few ideas to bat away your Holiday Blues. If you need more ideas on how to turn the holiday blues into blue skies or just want an uplifting conversation, set up a chat with Vicki at www.supportivetalk.com .