Updated: Jan 23, 2021
The holidays can stir up a lot of emotions. We often drag ourselves through the past. Consider that the past is why you are you today.
"In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you." —Andrea Dykstra
Focus on giving to others. If you give of your heart and time, you’ll feel better about yourself, and you’ll help other people in the process.
What can you do when everyone around you is in the holiday spirit, but you are feeling bah-humbug?
During the holidays, we’re bombarded by images of joyfulness and happiness. But maybe right now you’re feeling sad, disengaged, and unimportant, and you might be thinking, What’s there to feel good about? I hate my job, I don’t feel great, I’m alone, and I don’t have the holiday spirit.
When you’re feeling badly, the divide between how you feel and how it seems everyone else is feeling grows wider than ever.
Did you ever consider that a lot of the people who look happy are actually faking it?
If 85 percent of people hate their jobs and 50 percent of people get divorced, I suspect that the gap between Hallmark and reality is huge.
Maybe you want to try to fake it too.
For so many of us, after Halloween and Thanksgiving are over, there’s incredible pressure to buy, buy, buy! And to be happy, happy, happy. It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday madness and not even realize it. Some of us get swept away in it, caught up in the pre-holiday trance. We’re on autopilot: Buy, spend, buy, spend.
If we stop and pause, we might realize how unfulfilled or lonely we are.
We could hide under a blanket, but that’s not how we really want to lead our lives.
What could you do to really enjoy this holiday time? Here are a few suggestions:
First, acknowledge “yes, this sucks.” Try not to fake it. Face your feelings and think to yourself “I’m lonely.” or “I hate Christmas.”
Ask yourself, “How does my current attitude support me? Is this making me feel bad? Is my focusing on how BLAH I feel making me feel worse?”
Move your body. When you move, it creates a space where you brain thinks, “Wait a minute I was just feeling sad. But now…”
Choose a different emotion as your brain catches up with your body. “…I feel joy!”
Think something positive, “I’m amazing! I’m loved.” Or even “I’m ok” if that’s all you’ve got. That’s a higher level of energy than “I’m sad, depressed, angry.
”Surround yourself with other people – socialize – even sit in a coffee shop – just get moving and get out. Choose happy or at least neutral people over negative ones.
Put on a comedy or a funny holiday movie like Elf, Home Alone, or Christmas Vacation. Laughter naturally lifts our attitudes.
Spend 60 seconds coming up with a list of all of the things you’re grateful for.
If all else fails, set a time limit for how long you’re going to allow yourself to feel sad.
At this time of gift-giving, remember that love is the best gift.