For many of us, the holidays are a challenging time. We grieve the loss of loved ones, of relationships we wish had turned out differently. With shorter days for those in the Northern Hemisphere, it can feel like darkness descends upon us, perhaps triggering feelings that we are running out of time. The end-of-the-year is a natural touchstone for us to gauge where we are and the direction in which our lives are heading. For many, this assessment falls short of our dreams.
To make matters worse, the cultural expectation is that we be happy, peppy, filled with joy. We are bombarded by Christmas music everywhere we go. Tinsel, reindeer, and Santas are inescapable. The shopping frenzy aggravates traffic and magnifies the chaos of life. The expectation of mirth makes its absence more pronounced.
No wonder many find this season depressive and stressful.
If this strikes a cord, keep in mind:
1. You are not alone. You are probably in the company of millions. Connect. Sure, it’s a lot easier to retreat into our cave, but transcend that inward tendency and reach out to someone. Ask them for coffee, a walk, a movie. You might even be making a difference in their life.
2. Even one session with a trained professional could provide the opportunity to feel heard and witnessed, reducing the perception of loneliness.
3. This too shall pass. What seems hopeless now could transform unexpectedly. Change is one of the few things we can count on in life.
4. Get off the couch and get those endorphins pumping. Even if it’s a mile on the treadmill or a couple of blocks around the block, even mild exercise will help us feel better afterward!
6. Service. Stepping out of ourselves and doing something for others pops us out of the prison of the ego, the little self.
7. If you have the access to a breathworker take advantage of it. I know nothing that heals as profoundly, as quickly and in so many ways. Even five minutes of self-guided deep breathing will impact our brain biochemistry and make a difference. Just Breathe!
Countless blessings during the holIdays and in the new year!