The holidays are usually for families, social events, children and fun; but the truth is that the holidays are difficult and challenging for many people. The expectations of the season and subsequent stresses often lead to depression during the Christmas season. Some of us are just glad when they are over.
Let’s be conscious and mindful of others! Manage our stress and expectations consciously to have a joyous holiday season.
Dysfunctional Families: Family get-togethers are difficult for many. We choose our friends but sometimes feel stuck with difficult family members. It is not easy to be charitable to some of these individuals but what better time than the holidays to practice charity, tolerance, and love. Then retreat to the inner peace in your heart and be kind to yourself.
Diversity: Sometimes for religious, cultural or ethnic reasons, it is not a time for celebration at all. The dissociation between themselves and local traditions can be uncomfortable and very stressful. Our diverse cultures in this country and globally, mean that some people do not understand the spirit of Christmas. We should be conscious of this fact, and not assume that everyone is celebrating.
Time & Money Management: During the holidays there is so much to do in so little time and money. One of the temptations of the holiday season is to try to do too much. Look at how much time and resources are available and be reasonable about your expectations of what can actually be achieved. Be kind to yourself and be fair to others who also have limited resources. Encourage realistic expectations. Do not forget the reason for the season.
Loneliness: Remember those whose reality is a Christmas is spent alone in social isolation. This can be a difficult time, as the sense of being alone is magnified. There are no simple answers to dealing with this. But if you are in this group reach out, consider calling organizations that provide round-the-clock telephone support or even reach out on-line to express your feelings. Remember, that good Samaritans are not just for there for the suicidal and would welcome an opportunity to help you.
Failure: A feeling of not meeting up to the expectations of others is a big source of anxiety for me during the holidays. My childhood Christmases were fantastic and the pressure to want to live up to those holidays of my youth is heavy. I use repeating affirmations whenever I think about it during the day to reprogram my brain and unwanted feelings.
Example of How-To:
I AM loved and accepted exactly as I am right here and right now.
I see the world through eyes of love acceptance. All is well in my world.
(from Louise Hay “I CAN DO IT” cards at www.hayhouse.com)
TRY IT today!