Yesterday the Wall Street Journal had a great article about, you guessed it, the holidays. Specifically, how to make it through the holiday season when you're more bah-humbug than Santa, baby. Grief, bad memories, or a simple desire to be alone can make this season tough for all of us at some points in our lives. Below are some tips the WSJ has for making it to January 2nd.
- Change your mental message. Perhaps easier said than done, but try changing what you're telling yourself. It's easy to dislike everything when "I hate Christmas" is playing on repeat in your brain. Instead of focusing on what you dislike, find one thing - small or large - that you enjoy and make that your new focus. You may not fall in love with the season, but maybe, just maybe, it will be enjoyable.
- Mix up your routine. This is a good idea whenever something isn't working, regardless of the time of year. However, there is a lot of sentimentality attached to holidays and their traditions. If you've experienced loss this year or just want to create new traditions, try something new. Something that has nothing to do with the season, but is special for you. Travel! Have a beach-movie marathon! Learn to make Monkey-bread and then eat it all yourself while watching Gilmore Girls! (That sounds amazing.) By creating a tradition new and special to you, it will get you out and away from situations that can cause your sweet little heart to ache, and allow you to heal.
- Write a letter. To yourself. Yep. The kind and loving letter that you would write to a friend going through a difficult time. A letter that shows you understand (or can sympathize with) what they are experiencing, and that you will love them no matter what. Practice grace with yourself.
- Share the love. Instead of focusing on what you dislike about the holidays, focus instead on other people. My favorites are volunteering (especially with animals) and writing letters to friends far away (after you write to yourself, of course). Those acts remind you that you can make a difference in people's lives and how just how good it feels to give.
- Do something awesome. Grab your coat and head outside- no I'm not going to tell you to look at Christmas lights. Go watch an epic sunset, watch geese flying in a perfect V, check out a new art exhibit or anything else that creates that sense of awe in your mind. See what's possible out there in this crazy, amazing world of ours.
Are there any other suggestions for beating the seasonal blues? I'd love to hear them!
Some advice, and a great mantra in my opinion, for the holiday parties and beyond: "You can go, but you don't have to stay." Encourage yourself to try something new, and give yourself permission to go home if it's not serving you.
If you have a WSJ subscription, you can read the full article here.