Acknowledge your feelings. If a loved one has recently died or you aren't able
to be with your loved ones, realize that it's normal to feel sadness or grief.
It's OK now and then to take time just to cry or express your feelings. You
can't force yourself to be happy just because it's the holiday season.
Seek support. If you feel isolated or down, seek out
family members and friends, or community, religious or social services. They can
offer support and companionship. Consider volunteering at a community or
religious function. Getting involved and helping others can lift your spirits
and broaden your friendships. Also, enlist support for organizing holiday
gatherings, as well as meal preparation and cleanup. You don't have to go it
alone. Don't be a martyr.
Be realistic. As families change and grow, traditions and rituals often change
as well. Hold on to those you can and want to. But accept that you may have to
let go of others. For example, if your adult children and grandchildren can't
all gather at your house as usual, find new ways to celebrate together from
afar, such as sharing pictures, e-mails or videotapes.
Set differences aside. Try to accept family members
and friends as they are, even if they don't live up to all your expectations.
Practice forgiveness. Set aside grievances until a more appropriate time for
discussion. With stress and activity levels high, the holidays might not be
conducive to making quality time for relationships. And be understanding if
others get upset or distressed when something goes awry. Chances are they're
feeling the effects of holiday stress and depression, too.
Stick to a budget. Before you go shopping, decide how much money you can afford
to spend on gifts and other items. Then be sure to stick to your budget. If you
don't, you could feel anxious and tense for months afterward as you struggle to
pay the bills. Don't try to buy happiness with an avalanche of gifts. Donate to
a charity in someone's name, give homemade gifts or start a family gift
Plan ahead. Set aside specific days for shopping,
baking, visiting friends and other activities. Plan your menus and then make one
big food-shopping trip. That'll help prevent a last-minute scramble to buy
forgotten ingredients — and you'll have time to make another pie, if the first
one's a flop. Expect travel delays, especially if you're flying.
Learn to say no. Believe it or not, people will understand if you can't
do certain projects or activities. If you say yes only to what you really want
to do, you'll avoid feeling resentful, bitter and overwhelmed. If it's really
not possible to say no when your boss asks you to work overtime, try to remove
something else from your agenda to make up for the lost time.
Don't abandon healthy habits. Don't let the holidays
become a dietary free-for-all. Some indulgence is OK, but overindulgence only
adds to your stress and guilt. Have a healthy snack before holiday parties so
that you don't go overboard on sweets, cheese or drinks. Continue to get plenty
of sleep and schedule time for physical activity.
Take a breather. Make some time for yourself. Spending just 15 minutes alone,
without distractions, may refresh you enough to handle everything you need to
do. Steal away to a quiet place, even if it's to the bathroom for a few moments
of solitude. Take a walk at night and stargaze. Listen to soothing music. Find
something that reduces stress by clearing your mind, slowing your breathing and
restoring inner calm.
Rethink resolutions. Resolutions can set you up for
failure if they're unrealistic. Don't resolve to change your whole life to make
up for past excess. Instead, try to return to basic, healthy lifestyle routines.
Set smaller, more specific goals with a reasonable time frame. Choose only those
resolutions that help you feel valuable and that provide more than only fleeting
moments of happiness.
Forget about perfection. Holiday TV specials are filled with happy endings. But
in real life, people don't usually resolve problems within an hour or two.
Something always comes up. You may get stuck late at the office and miss your
daughter's school play, your sister may dredge up an old argument, your partner
may burn the cookies, and your mother may criticize how you're raising the kids.
All in the same day. Accept imperfections in yourself and in others.
Seek professional help if you need it. Despite your
best efforts, you may find yourself feeling persistently sad or anxious, plagued
by physical complaints, unable to sleep, irritable and hopeless, and unable to
face routine chores. If these feelings last for several weeks, talk to your
doctor or a mental health professional. You may have depression.
So, if you do think you have depression; feeling like it won't go away - not ever, then continue reading some of the posts - refer to the side-bar for some helpful 'quotes' that are inspiring and supportive.
Look at your eating habits; your life-style, and your 'habit' of possibly expecting things to 'stay the same' (as I've done) - things change; we age, and nothing stands still for long. We can't save 'Time In A Bottle', but we shouldn't 'bottle up' our worries and refuse to seek help.
Seeking we find; asking we shall get some answers - the doors are open on so many places not only on the I-net, but in the selections of books and through the kindness of friends and family. Once we share the sad feelings we're having; if we 'open up, about our personal difficulties, we will find a friendly 'ear' - a kind person; a good soul that will give us that extra boost we're seeking, so we can re-engage our own will power, and enjoy the days to come.