Merry Christmas - NOT
Pain might be overtaking the happy holidays this year and joy might be hard to find. You are still important and valued.
Everywhere you go around this time of year people are wishing you a Happy Holiday, Merry Christmas or a Happy New Year. What if its not a happy anything for you this year? Maybe this is the first year you are without a loved one, maybe your family is all getting together but financially you can not go, maybe your family has been fighting and spending time together is stressful, maybe this is the first year since the divorce, or maybe your depression or anxiety has taken over and you can not figure out how to enjoy the holidays so you’ve isolated yourself. The list could go on as there are multiple reasons that the holidays could be a strain.
Even in the midst of your pain, no one around you understands and they just keep wishing you a happy holiday and urging you to put up your decorations or fake a smile for them.
On behalf of all of us out here who might have neglected to recognize your pain, I apologize as I am sorry for causing you any additional hurt.
The good news is that the holidays will be over in 2 weeks. Two weeks can seem like a long time so how do you get through them?
Be Active: Isolation is often the easiest solution as we do not want to bother anyone else with our pain so we stay away to protect them or ourselves. Loneliness will make the pain worse. I’m sure by now you know what the holiday activities will be so look them over and see what ones you are willing to participate in. You do not have to go to all of them but pick one or two to participate in. This could be simply driving around town looking at lights or opening Christmas presents on Christmas morning. If you do not have anything scheduled look at your local paper or www.meetup.com and find something to go to. Being around people even if it is at your local coffee shop for a few minutes will help.
Renew the hope: We often look at what is causing us pain and focus on it. Pause for a moment this holiday and think of your blessings. What are the good things happening around you? What are you grateful for? It just takes a moment to focus on something positive but it will start to generate hope and move you towards being able to feel joy again.
Take time to breathe: In the middle of a holiday event or activity, if you are feeling overwhelmed and feel you can not continue, take a moment out of the activity. Find a quiet corner, take a nap, go for a walk or find some other way to take a break. Moments to yourself will renew you and allow you to continue through the holidays.
Talk to someone: You are not alone during this time. Call a friend or a family member and let them know how it feels. You might be surprised because they might have been waiting for you to open the conversation as they wanted to talk too.
This holiday might not look like what you had hoped it would. But it can be bearable and survivable. The moments of contentment will start to come back and you will find joy again. This holiday can be where the spark ignites and you begin to heal.