How to Avoid a Blue Holiday Season
How to Avoid a Blue Holiday Season
For many, the holiday season brings with it an opportunity to celebrate, eat and be merry, engage in tradition, connect with friends and relatives, and to draw meaning from the spiritual significance of the season.
For many others it brings financial stress, temptations to eat, drink and be “too merry”, pressure to entertain, spend money and socialize to the point of exhaustion. Holidays can also bring up memories of loved one’s who are not present this holiday season, and a sense of loneliness to those who do not have people to spend the holiday season with.
Often the holidays can bring a mixture of both joy and stress. Here are some suggestions to help you create a pleasant holiday season for yourself, and some tips if you do start to feel a little blue:
.• PLAN AHEAD: Sit down with pen and paper and make up one sheet for each day that is important for you to celebrate. Here is a sample work sheet:
HOLIDAY: WHAT I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO EXPERIENCE ON THIS DATE: WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS? IS THERE SOME COMMUNITY SERVICE THAT I WOULD LIKE TO DO ON THIS DATE? WHERE COULD I DO THAT?
• TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF• Don’t overspend, times are tight for everyone, spend within your means – be creative! Plan what you are going to purchase, and don’t wait until the last minute.
• Don’t over-commit to people, places and things!!! Fatigue and exhaustion quickly bring about stress and the blues!
• Take some alone time, listen to some music you enjoy, rent an old favorite movie, get a great new book to read, schedule a massage.
• Take care of yourself in terms of being especially reasonable with food and alcohol!!! Alcohol in large quantities is a depressant. Continue your exercise schedule, and if you don’t have one, try to get outdoors frequently and take a good walk.
• If you are in a 12 step program, keep in touch with your sponsor and attend more meetings! See if your home meeting has anything special going on for the holidays.
• REMEMBER WITH LOVE THOSE WHO ARE NO LONGER HERE—Acknowledge your loss, and also focus on new people in your life, or people and experiences you want to put into your life
• DON’T ISOLATE Renew old friendships, connect with the people in your life, discover some new places to make new friends. “DENVER MEET UP” offers many great opportunities to help you do just that, check, it out! Denver, CO Meetup Groups – meetup:www.meetup.com/cities/us/co/denver
• IF FEELING BLUE TAKES A TURN TOWARDS FEELING DEPRESSED If you start feeling more than sad and you feel that you need more help, schedule an appointment for counseling with a professional. If you are a member of a spiritual community, speak with someone there for additional support!
• KEEP THINGS IN PERSPECTIVE Holiday seasons pass! It’s only as important as you make it. Use your time off from work as gifts to you to spend time you might not have time for otherwise!Be mindful of what you have in your life and consider them as gifts to you during this holiday season and all year round! Buy yourself a great holiday gift!•
DO SOMETHING KIND FOR SOMEONE ELSE Check out a volunteer list and take some time to do an act of kindness for someone who needs it.
• ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE: KEEP A RUNNING LOG OF WHAT YOU ENJOYED, PLANNED, EXPERIENCED THIS HOLIDAY SEASON! ABOVE ALL, THE HOLIDAYS, LIKE ANYTHING ELSE ARE WHAT YOU MAKE OF THEM! WITH SOME ENERGY, PLANNING, THESE TIPS, AND THE ADDITIONAL RESOURCES LISTED, THIS MAY BE YOUR MOST SPECIAL HOLIDAY SEASON EVER, ENJOY!!!***************************************************
This article was submitted by Bernadine Merker, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Denver, Colorado.