As we’ve discussed quite a bit this winter, the holidays can be insanely rough for many of us. Stress, lack of light, cold, family gatherings, money, etc. It all adds up to the inevitable cold plate of anxiety followed by a giant dish of depression for desert. And as if that doesn’t sound appetizing enough, we all get to sit back and WAIT for our meal to be served, knowing it’s on it’s way and is likely to taste about as good as a fresh plate of beetles. (But I mean, if you’re into that thing, that’s all good too!)
However, it is finally the end of December, the end of the holidays. After January 1st, no matter what religion you celebrate, the 2010 Holidays will be put behind us until next year. So I don’t know about you, but for me … though I am anxiously awaiting the birth of Christ … I look at today as the beginning of the end of my winter blues.
As many of you know, this winter/holiday season has been especially hard for my family and I. Right now, I feel like all I need to do is get through the next 8 days and I will finally be able to breathe.
Apparently I didn’t think that the holidays were dramatic/anxiety ridden enough, I thought, “Hey, how bout a divorce to mix things up!” Ok, so that’s not REALLY how it all went down, but it sure does feel like it.
So amongst all this pain and stress and lack of light, how do I remain positive and focused on what really matters? Well let me tell ya … and listen close because this is very important …
It’s all in the way I manage my thoughts.
- Money is tight and Christmas Lists are getting long! Now I can do one of two things;
- I can flip out and pull my hair out wondering how the heck I’m going to be able to afford everything or;
- I can calm down. Realize that Christmas isn’t about gifts. And put a lot of thought into the gifts that I am able to afford. So maybe my kids don’t have a bazillion gifts under the tree this year. It will not be the end of the world. I mean kids get so many darned gifts at Christmas that they can barely pay attention to them all anyways! Why not get them less and let them REALLY enjoy what they’ve received!
- My family is broken up. My husband is living elsewhere and my children are home with me. It’s the first Christmas we have ever spent apart. Again … I can do one of two things;
- I can spend all day in bed, ignore my children, wallow in self pity about how the Holiday’s have been ruined and my life will never be the same. (and don’t get me wrong … I may or may not have done at least a tiny bit of this, but …) I could instead;
- Be thankful for what I do have. I have my children with me on Christmas morning. This will be the first year in ages that I get to wake up with MY Mom and Dad on Christmas morning. My children aren’t spending their holiday plagued by my husband and I arguing. AND instead of a whole bunch of commotion and too much going on to pay attention to them, both their father and I are going to get a full day’s worth of one on one time with our children. How can I not be excited about all that?
Does this all make sense? Our anxiety and depression only worsens with our negative thoughts. This Christmas/Yule/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa season, we should try to make a positive out of EVERY negative situation we are going through.
I’ve had many a difficult Holiday Season, this one being at the top of the list. I’ve also spent some of those years wallowing in my misfortunes. And you know what? I was MISERABLE during those times. Instead of focusing on what I DID have I just complained and fixated on everything I didn’t have. What was the point?
You can’t change the situations you are in right now at this very moment. However; you can change how you view it. And you can choose how you work through it.
Don’t let this holiday season bring you down. No matter what the circumstances. You are alive. Whether you believe it or not, I GUARANTEE you have people who love you. (Ooh ooh me me, I do I do!) And the holidays are ALMOST over. Soon spring will be here and this difficult winter will be behind us. Instead of fearing the inevitable down swing, look forward to and embrace the joy that will follow.
Sending joy to you and your family this Holiday Season. I hope you are able to make it the best ever, even if it appears to be the exact opposite!