I am beginning to notice a grumbling amongst my colleagues these days. Folks all around me seem to be very stressed about the holidays. They are consumed with participating in the best retails sales online and in the store, buying the right gifts, decorations for the house, apprehension around big family gatherings. I thought the Christmas season represents happiness and togetherness. For some of us, it can also be a difficult time. I heard a friend say to me today that she has the Christmas blues. I laughed at her and said you have to be kidding, right? She said no, every year around this time she gets really depressed and sad. She said it is a mixture of feelings that may include sadness, depression, loneliness, a loss of self-worth, and anger.
I did a little research and found out that there is such an animal as the Christmas Blues. There are many reasons a person may get the blues. Here are several to ponder: financial difficulties, relationship problems, big move to an unfamiliar place, new job, sick loved one or death in the family. The blues could be brought on by a multitude of life challenges. The blues can also be brought on by everyday stresses. You may feel as though you are the only person in the world going through this, but you are not alone. Many people experience Christmas Blues every year.
Here are a few suggestions that may help you with Christmas Blues:
- Talk to someone – Connect with a friend, family member, therapist or a spiritual adviser. You need an outlet to express what you are feeling inside. By talking to someone you take the power out of the very thing you are hiding from the world.
- Volunteer in the community – You could look for ways to share your time and talent with those less fortunate than yourself. There are plenty of places in the community that could use your assistance. Helping others takes you away from your troubles. The experience may assist you in your healing process. Something happens to you when you bring joy to the life of others. In a Universal kind of way, you reap some of the joy as well.
- Take a Break – This could be taking time off work to hang out with family or friends, spending time alone, going on a short retreat “Day-cation.” Where can you go to have fun or to simply just be?
- Be honest – The holiday season can be very expensive. Be honest with yourself about your ability to make purchases. You may not be able to give your loved ones every present on their list. Give gifts from your heart that has the potential to be amazingly meaningful.
By reframing how you think about the holidays, you can get through the season without agonizing. We agonize when we are not meeting our own or someone else’s expectations. You have to change your view of the holidays. Let go of expectations that are no longer serving you. Let go of having to have the biggest and the best presents. Let go of trying to make the house and the dinner perfect. Let go of trying to make everyone happy. Start by making yourself happy. Do you! No matter how selfish it sounds, you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. If you are feeling resentment this holiday season, it is time for a change. Don’t forget to focus on all the things that make your heart sing and dance. You will be better off for it and so will those around you. Happy Holidays!