Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year my dears!
Another year will soon be over and it seems to me each year goes by faster than the one before. I would not credit that to my chronological age because my philosophy on “age” is quite unconventional and maybe one of these days I’ll share with my readers. For now, I’d like to focus on what this festive season mean to me.
Other than Thanksgiving, I have to say Christmas is my favourite time of the year. It is because I have fond memories of the Christmases I had when I was living in Canada. More importantly is because I find myself more compassionate, forgiving and loving at this time of the year. I remember one year I even invited strangers I met on a train to my Christmas Eve party because I found out they were new to the country and had no friends or loved ones to celebrate Christmas with.
I am definitely not suggesting that you follow suit, however, I do suggest that maybe we could open our hearts a bit more to those who are less privileged. Also, to be more compassionate, forgiving and loving towards those that we think they have wronged us or still are causing challenges in our lives.
To me, Christmas is supposed to be a time of expressing love and experience joyful celebration with loved ones, and unfortunately, for some are anything but.
As a matter of fact, holiday seasons can cause stress and anxiety for some. It may be stress that we put on ourselves to organise a perfect Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s party; some of us may wish to travel abroad when family members pressure us to stay; parents that are experiencing financial difficulties may feel the pressure to get Christmas gifts to their children; etc. So, it is not uncommon that depression could set in during the holiday months of November and December.
Another possible reason why people develop depression during the festive seasons is social isolation. Some people may have a small social circle or a lack of opportunities to meet new friends. People who have feelings of disconnectedness often avoid social interactions at this time of the year. Unfortunately, by isolating oneself makes the feelings of loneliness and symptoms of depression worse.
One of the best ways to deal with social isolation is to reach out to friends or family members. If there’s absolutely no loved ones to turn to, one can also try talking to a counsellor or therapist. The professionals can help you figure out where your feelings come from and develop solutions to overcome them.
I have a friend who recently lost her husband of 54 years and she has already expressed immense sadness if not symptoms of depression. Like my friend, some people may be keenly aware of the loss of a loved one during the holiday season. Again, reaching out to friends and family is key, and I’m glad that my friend will be surrounded by her children and grandchildren this holiday season.
Below are several ways to dissolve the holiday blues that may descend upon you at this time:
Create a New Normal
May be it is a good idea to take a family outing or vacation, instead of spending the holidays at home.
Be willing to Release yourself from Holiday Pressures
Parties do not have to be perfect and be prepared to have some one feeling disappointed if you have limited space in your home and did not invite them. Feel free to leave an event or muster the courage to say “no” to seconds or wishing to leave the party earlier.
Giving Creates Good Feeling
Helping others can also be helpful for you; particularly, if you are feeling down and by simply giving to others that are downtrodden, you could volunteer at a soup kitchen or elderly home; or helping your neighbors with a house task.
Get Back to Nature
Going for a walk in the park or the woods helps many people relax and feel better when they are feeling overwhelmed.
Dancing is Good for the Soul
If all else fails, put on your favourite music and dance as if you’ve never danced before. I always say … “Dancing is good for your soul!” What have you got to loose but the blues.
Remember this, you are worthy of love and happiness just the way you are. On this note, I’d like to wish you all a very Merry Xmas and Happy Healthy 2017.