5 Tips for Beating
the Holiday Blues & Reds
by Shannon K. Spellman, M.S.W.
Are you one of the millions of
Americans that gets stressed out or depressed over the holiday season?
Well, take charge now with these five primary tips to reduce anxiety
and avoid feeling plagued by sadness. First, the very minute you
start seeing the holiday decorations in the stores (sometimes it starts in
October it seems), buckle up and prepare for a smooth take off to rise
above the chatter, crowds and traffic where you can get some quiet
meditation and retreat into the silence. While there, breathe deeply
knowing that this will all be over again in just a couple of short months.
Second, if you haven't made arrangements
for the holidays you plan to celebrate, then do that. Either make a plan for where
you're going to go or who you're going to invite
over or not, or what you're going to do if you choose to spend the day alone,
and then get specific about some of those details. Did you know
that you can cook meatloaf instead of a turkey??? Just imagine the
Third, make plans regarding gift
exchanges or not. Sometimes, it's good to celebrate with honoring the spirit of giving
by donating goods or volunteering time to those in need rather than going
into debt in a frenzy to give others material gifts just because it's the
norm. If you do make a plan to do gift exchanges, set a budget and
stick to it as closely as possible. Why should your present to
another be a
pre-paid resentment for you???
Fourth, tackle the outer wear by
making plans and taking action regarding decorations or not, and
clothing for events. Sometimes you might choose to really go wild with it
and other times you can choose not to participate one bit. You can even wear the same holiday
gowns and sweaters that you've worn in years past. Who really cares about this
stuff anyway??? Have you ever been asked to leave
because you had on last year's sweater or lost friends because you didn't
decorate? It can be very freeing not to haul out all those ornaments if
you really don't have the time. And it can be just as joyful to do
it anyway if that's what you enjoy about the holidays.
Fifth, return full circle to the
inner wear by focusing on your attitude and your inner peace. You
to pass that onto others rather than sharing how you really feel about it
all some days. Make it part of your meditation to focus on your facial
expressions and wipe the scowl off of your face and replace it with a
smile. And then take a deep breath and buckle up for the rest of
the flight. Above all, make the holidays filled with things that give you
joy rather than doing it out of expectation or habit. Play music you
enjoy, and have fun this season.
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