The holiday season is also a
busier and more stressful time. We have more things to do, more things
to buy, there is more traffic, parking is more difficult, stores are
crowded and we wait longer. The extra demands on our time, attention,
energy and finances can be very stressful, and for some, the "holiday
Don't make yourself helpless and don't accept the role of a victim. There is much you can do to make it better for yourself.
If your holiday blues are a
manifestation of the stress from all the extra demands of the holidays,
do some things to reduce the demands. Rethink how you view and approach
the holidays. Also review your beliefs about what you have to do and the
consequences of not doing what you believe you must do. Is it really
necessary to buy all those people gifts? Is it really necessary to buy
such expensive gifts? What is the purpose and meaning of your giving?
Might there be an even more meaningful way of giving that is less
demanding on you. Don't forget to keep the overall picture in mind.
Making the effort to get a gift or do something nice for one person may
be easy, but it gets more difficult and demanding on you as you increase
the number of people you give to. Sometimes just deciding what to get or
do for someone is difficult and time consuming. What could you do to
make it less demanding? Don't just follow your tradition without talking
to your family and friends about it. Families and relationships change
over time, so make sure current efforts are appropriate for how your
family and relationships are now. Brainstorm with your family about it,
or ask your friends how they approach it. You might also be able come up
with a better plan, such as giving yourself more time by starting your
efforts several weeks earlier.
If your holiday blues are stemming from past losses, take advantage of the holidays to help you complete your mourning and finish your grieving over the loss. You will likely need to feel the sadness and grief, and be intellectually clear with yourself as to what you lost and the magnitude of the loss. If you accept the loss and the feelings that go along with the loss, the intensity of the bad feelings will lessen. In order to complete mourning and finish grieving, one has to find other ways of getting his/her needs met that were met by the person that is gone. It might be difficult and it will require effort, but don't let yourself lose more than necessary. Once you complete your grieving you will be able to experience good feelings when you reminisce. You might have a twinge of sadness at times, but the agonizing pain will be gone.
There are many different
kinds of losses that cause grief. There is a loss of loved one, loss of
meaning and purpose, loss of health, loss of a body part, loss of
important material things, loss of status, as well as past, present and
anticipated future loss, to list a few. I can not outline the specifics
of how to handle all the different types of loss and the holiday blues,
but I can give you three principles that if applied properly will
enable you to overcome the holiday blues. The three principles are
in the first verse of the Serenity Prayer which reads, "God
grant me the serenity to (1) accept the things I can not change, (2) the
courage to change the things I can, and (3) the wisdom to know the
difference. Learn how to apply these three principles and serenity will
replace the holiday blues.
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