Artwork Above By: Wesley Allsbrook
This is not my usual type of post, however, it is an important one.
Even before Covid, it has been my understanding from others as well as my own experience, that holiday’s can be troubling and lonely times. Now adding Covid into the mix, so many more people are isolated, sick, and in emotional, psychological, and physical pain. So let’s try to lessen those more challenging emotions for others when we can. Shall we?
You Are Not Alone
First, it is true that almost everyone feels sad, upset, and/or disturbed during the holiday seasons. If you don’t, count yourself among the very lucky few and hold onto that because one day that probably will change. Why? We are human beings living a human experience and we live through things like death, divorces, dramas, medical issues, major and minor injuries, rejections, heartbreaks, and so much more. And if you are like me, and most other humans, you can, unfortunately, say you have experienced one of those things listed, if not many or all. And just one of those things is enough to bring upon a harder time during the holiday season.
“In order to love who you are; you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you.” – Andrea Dykstra
Only Joy. Only!
Second, every advertisement is promoting joy, joy, joy…. as the music plays in every store starting Nov 1st and Christmas decorations are exploding even from the grocery stores isles. People love it and people love to hate it. No matter what your stance is on the explosion of joyful colors, smells, and the repeat of “All I Want For Christmas Is You” sung proudly from all public speakers by Mirah Carey at 9 am, it is okay to feel annoyed, pissed, or an impulse to chuck a leftover pumpkin at the bell ringer. Don’t be hard on yourself.
And to boot, Toxic Positivity is pushed hard during the holidays. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about a positive attitude and life is what you make of it…and if shit happens, it is all about your response and your ability to adapt. I own that shit, but I also own the fact that you can also still feel really really shitty, lonely, and angry at situations that have left you feeling sad, wounded, and/or alone. Feel into that, because it is real and the only way to heal is to feel.
The holidays time does not seem like the most opportune time to be feeling low, but we don’t typically get to choose when shitty things happen to us. So take heed and know you are not alone and it is okay to feel any way you wish.
Feeling hopeful one minute and then laying in the floor mopping your tears with your 7-year-old German Shepherd’s coat is normal and remember not every feeling is mutually exclusive. You can have a very polarizing feeling in less than a minute and it is totally normal! We are complex beings, with complex feelings that change.
How Can I Help You Feel Better?
I had no idea you would ask, but I am honored you would! I ask myself this each year. And these are some of the suggestions that I have gathered over the years as well as resources.
- You don’t have to do anything and don’t owe anyone anything. You don’t have to smile, go to Aunt Betty’s party, talk on the phone to your abusive mother, follow traditions, send out greet cards, cook, exit your PJ’s, etc. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do and you owe nothing to anyone. If you are questioning that in your heart, I will say it again. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do and you owe nothing to anyone. Your only obligated to take care of yourself. Period. Read it again if you have to.
- Find things that soothe you, even if small. Pet your pup, cuddle in a blanket, watch a fun movie, drink something warm, light a fire (they have a beautiful virtual Yule Log on YourTube if you are like me and don’t want to burn down your house). Anything small that can fill you with a good feeling, even if momentary is important
- You can change your mind. You can feel interested in spending time with your family (zoom covid style), but then when the day arrives if you
- Do not be afraid to reach out for help. Reach out to a trusted friend or family member. You can also reach out to a therapist or other people that are not within your circle. Better Help is a wonderful online counseling resource. If you or anyone else has considered self-harm, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1(800)273-8255
Helpful Ways to Deal With Grief During The Holidays
Reference: Psychology Today
Read The Whole Article Here
- Trust That Grief Is Part of Healing
- Set Healthy Boundaries
- Focus on What You Can Control
- Plan Ahead
- Allow Yourself to Feel a Range of Emotions
- Find a Way to Honor Your Memories
- Create New Traditions
- Do Something Kind for Others