In the previous article, we addressed what many experience as Holiday Blues. One of the reasons we find ourselves experiencing holiday blues is because during the holidays we tend to grieve for lost relationships, lost opportunities, loss of health or jobs.
It is normal to feel "the blues" when there has been a loss in our lives. Of course, our lives are going to be different. We may grieve for the "old normal." However, we are called to create a new normal by reinventing ourselves and re-creating the holidays. Some of us celebrate the holidays by going on a cruise or traveling.
Especially during the holidays, it is important for us to take care of ourselves. We are not taking care of ourselves by over-doing, over-scheduling, and over-indulging. Taking care of ourselves is by making time for exercise, family, rest, and worship.
One suggestion is to put ourselves on the top of our "to do" list and do something just for ourselves such as having a massage, lunch with a friend, or buying ourselves something special. The point is to make time for ourselves.
Our expectations may be setting us up for
the blues and disappointment. Many of us expect ourselves
to be happier than we ordinarily are.
During the holidays, we may find ourselves overwhelmed and exhausted by over-doing. Of course, we feel exhausted when we are the one who does most of the cooking, decorating, shopping, wrapping gifts and cleaning, It would be in our best interest if we sat down with our family and planned how we are going to spend the holidays. Maybe we could cut back on some of the activities, and the spending. Another piece of the planning would be delegating responsibilities
Our expectations may be setting us up for the blues and disappointment. Many of us expect ourselves to be happier than we ordinarily are. Then we might feel guilty for not being jubilant. We don't have to feel festive. We need to feel what we feel and be okay with it.
Then there are some of us who expect our families to get along when they haven't for years. Just because it is the holidays doesn't mean Scrooge is going to have a miraculous change in relating to us!
Don't compare today with "yesteryear." Life does bring changes and we need to find a way to enjoy our lives as they are.
Dr. William E. Austin is a licensed psychotherapist and holds a Doctor of Divinity degree. He is a therapist with Tidewater Pastoral Counseling Services . He is well known for his warmth and sense of humor. His book, Creating Our Safe Place - Articles on Healthy Relationships, can be purchased through www.amazon.com.
Tidewater Pastoral Counseling: 623-2700