Holiday Blues Part II or How to Have a Happy Holiday!

What can we do to remedy the holiday blues and experience more joy, peace and love during this time of year?  Isn’t that what the greetings wish for us?  Even though there are the well wishes, we often have to discipline our self to get there.  Here are some things you can do.

Limit your doing.  Make lists, set priorities, be willing to say no, do as much as you can do and let go of the rest, give yourself good messages, affirm your right to be an imperfect human with limits and accept that you cannot please everyone.  Pamper yourself.  Get a massage, play a round of golf and turn your cell phone off as often as you can.

Take care of your body.  Squeeze that 15 minute of meditation in, take that 20 minute walk with your dog, do deep breathing exercises once every 4 hours, eat lots of healthy food and protein, take supplements, nap if you have to, limit the sweets and alcohol consumption, and if you do have a social drink or two, eat protein versus sweets and carbohydrates with it. Put on relaxing music.  Dance.

Watch the financial outflow.  I love to give gifts.  The joy is in the giving. If you can afford the gift and it is from the heart go for it.   Give what you can easily afford.  Hand make gifts and feel the pleasure and joy of so doing. Offer a service gift such as “one gourmet dinner” or “a breakfast in bed.”   If you put love into the gift, the other will sense it.  Let go of meeting others expectations guilt free.  And never give to get!

Enjoy or limit togetherness.  We do not have to like everything about every family member or friend to enjoy a sense of belonging.  Tolerance, compassion and empathy go a long way.  Focus on the benefits of togetherness and others, you can deal with the other stuff later.  Avoid invites into power struggles by responding with one word:  yes, no, really, whatever, wow.  If there are children available, play with them.  They bring out good things in us.  Decide to enjoy the time together.  Have a way out if stress of togetherness is intolerable.  Remember it is okay to say no.  Remain true to yourself.

Fill your loneliness.   Our minds tend to dwell on what is missing so create new rituals.  For example, If you and your deceased or ex- partner had a party last year, plan one with your children or friends. Avoid places or situations that trigger pain. Find four friends you can be yourself with and ask them to include you in events.  Do a service project.  Science has proven that giving improves the immune system and stimulates endorphins, our natural mood lifters. Have someone play Santa for you, even if you need to reimburse for the gifts.  And, do not hesitate to ask your doctor for a medication to get you through a difficult time.  Practice gratitude.  Emphasize spiritual aspects of the holiday.