“How do I emotionally survive the ‘merry’ holidays?,” consciously or unconsciously you ask your self.
Perhaps you’re going through separation, wounds from infidelity, divorce, failure, severe trauma or tension. You fear the fact that you might not enjoy the holidays. And you dread the looks, the questions, the wonder of those around about YOU.
Obviously, you’re feeling pain. You feel sad, depressed, and broken. Tears, rage, fear, catastrophic thoughts, hurt feelings are pounding your heart and gut. You’re struggling hard to cope with the same points of pain revolving around your being.
How I wish there’s an instant pill for relief! But there’s none. How do you eat an elephant? Only one answer – one bite at a time. You can only do your best to take one step at a time, one day at a time towards recovery. It’s a process. It’s helpful that you spend the holidays for deeper self-examination. Pray and reflect. Once you know your self better, it gives you, amazingly enough, some level of control over your pain as it ebbs and flows.
Push your self too into the hope of your future. Better times are coming. That happens only when you give your self challenges to pursue. Have you thought of starting a new business? Running? Writing a a book? Painting or sculpting? Re-channeling your energies to a huge project? Challenge your self to things that will utilize your gifts and strengths.
For those experiencing loss, emotional wound, or relationship breakdown, holidays such as Christmas and New Year can be excruciatingly painful times. Death, divorce, separation, illness, financial lack, betrayal of friends or loved ones are great losses that can make holidays difficult.
Therefore, let me offer here some thoughts and tips ont how to survive the holidays:
1. Prepare emotionally and physically, beforehand;
2. Remind your self that it's a passing season and it will be over soon;
3. Don't self-medicate or anesthetize with drugs, alcohol, overeating, partying, sexual acting out to numb the pain;
4. Manage your expectations and realities;
5. Force your self to socialize and not isolate or hibernate;
6. Call, text, or meet your therapist or closest friend when painful feelings get severe;
7. Keep up your physical exercises or workouts (e.g. gym, running, walking etc.), no excuses!;
8. Try to eat less and move more!
9. Eat healthy foods;
10. Reach other people who may be hurting and serve or converse with them;
11. Don't allow people to push your buttons;
12. Pray and read God's Word, get close to and trust God in all circumstances;
13. Remember the reason for the season;
14. Have fun!
15. Practice gratitude and contentment;
16. Educate your self, read self improvement books etc;
17. Focus on your unique purpose in life;
18. Enjoy your hobbies or passions;
19. Connect in new, healthy ways with your spouse or children, family member/s;
20. Reflect on and learn from your past mistakes to create a better you.
21. Always hope, for the best is yet to come.
There it is. Among others, these, I believe, could help you emotionally hope towards a better future.