Larry James' CelebrateLove.com BLOG

Thursday, December 1, 2005

Rx for the Holiday Blues!

Filed under: Holidays,Relationships — Larry James @ 4:20 am
Tags: , ,

November and December are months that typically bring to mind family and friends. It is often a difficult time for people who have lost a loved one through death, divorce or separation. The suggestions in this article will help you to focus on giving the gift of happiness, not sadness, first to yourself and to your friends during the final days of this year.

During this season of celebration, are you are experiencing a dip in your mood just when it’s the season to celebrate thankfulness and to be jolly? The hustle and bustle got you down? Are you overwhelmed with the busyness of the season?

holidayBLUESAre you dreading the holidays? Feeling behind before you even begin preparations? Wish you could hibernate until the season’s over? Avoiding tree-trimmings and office parties? Is your attitude, “Bah-humbug!?” For your own well being, don’t boycott the holidays.

Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanza, Ramadan, New Years eve – whatever you celebrate this season, being single (or being alone) doesn’t suck as much as you think. You have a choice between sitting home and wallowing in your own self pity and crying into a warm beer watching reruns of “It’s a Wonderful Life” or creating a very special holiday just for you. Embrace your situation. There is hope.

Nostalgia is often characterized as depression.

Nostalgia is a disorder of the imagination, where the mind is dwelling upon past memories and loses interest in the present situation: a mood disorder. It is a longing for pleasures, experiences, or events belonging to the past. Those memories are often brought on by an aroma, a song, an old movie, a picture, and can send you back many, many years.

Although nostalgia is not depression, it can lead to depression. For nostalgia to be normal, it must contain a depressive component that is related to the recognition that the past is irrevocable. In its pathological form, the mood contains only the elated aspects without the acceptance of loss, or what could be described as bittersweet sentiment.

Homesickness deals with the nagging thought that perhaps you made a terrible mistake in leaving the comforts of your old life, which may bring a temporary phase of loneliness and depression.

There is never any benefit in longing for what once was, but rather much joy in exploring what is. Focus on the present and think positively. This approach can help reduce some of your frustration and unhappiness as well as build your confidence to live in the spirit of the holiday season.

To really enjoy it during the holidays, you’ll first need to temper your expectations. Forget about what’s “supposed” to happen. Remember that lots of people out there are doing what’s expected, and probably running themselves a little ragged.

Some degree of loneliness is normal during the holidays. There is nothing abnormal about having the “holiday blues,” which are more like a mood than any sort of lasting condition. Depression, anxiety, and other psychological symptoms are associated with the holidays because this season brings back memories of a happier time in our lives. Plan a holiday where loneliness doesn’t dominate.

Carving the turkey with friends and shopping for a gift for someone special is a part of life during the holidays. Drowning your troubles in egg nog and pigging out on holiday candy is not the solution.

Doing the holidays solo? Being alone is a challenge for many people. Not being coupled during all the various gatherings can leave singles feeling left out, sad, and empty inside. What can you do to make the holidays joyous rather than depressing?

If you are feeling alone during the holidays because of a death, divorce or separation from your loved one or if you are feeling obligated to visit or entertain friends or relatives that you would rather avoid, perhaps the following guidelines may help minimize the “Holiday Blues.”

One thing to remember: There is no cure-all for the holiday blues, however it is important for you to understand that the only person in charge of how you “feel” is you.

Before you get defensive about that statement, I suggest that you take a closer look at the real issue that brings on this feeling. It is not in your best interest to allow what you think to color how you feel.

HoHoHo13Understand the difference between the holiday blues and holiday stress. Holiday blues are feelings of loss or sadness because you can’t be with people who are special to you. Holiday stress is often caused because you believe you need to be with some of those people.

Feeling down is not all bad. It allows you to see that something in your life is not working. If you listen to your depression, it may help you make changes in your life. Embracing the “blues” in a positive way is a good thing.

For many people, the holidays are a traditional time of happiness and festivity. However, for those who are grieving the loss of a loved one, the holidays are a time of mixed emotions. Be aware of what triggers your emotions. Do your best to accept that your emotions will vary during the holidays. Make time to deal with your emotions. Have a good cry, punch some pillows and shout out loud about how angry you are. But then, as best you can, let it go.

Plan ahead. Schedule some fun events for January to give you something to look forward to.

No one wants to be alone during the holidays. And although you may not be in a position to do anything about being with the one you would rather be with, you can do something to help yourself focus on making yourself “merry” during the holidays. A holiday alone does not have to be the end of the world. Here are a few suggestions to help you dodge the perils of solitude and radiate holiday cheer.

To read the complete article with more than 56 tips for the holidazed, go to http://www.CelebrateLove.com/holidayblues.htm!

Copyright © 2007 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and an award winning nondenominational Wedding Officiant. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

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