Holiday greetings from TYL. I hope you and your families have an enjoyable holiday season.
If you are anything like me, the holiday season can be a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows. You remember times past that may bring you feelings of happiness, sadness or something in between. Then there’s shopping, work deadlines, party going, seeing extended family, and on and on.
One of my happiest memories is of going out with my mom, dad, and aunt to buy a Xmas tree on Xmas eve when I was 7 or 8 years old. As we carried the tree home, it started to snow and my aunt called me to the front of the tree to join her. I still remember her looking down at me and smiling.
Then I get hit with the memory of my dad passing three days before Xmas.
I always feel more vulnerable this time of year. I can be really happy. I have a great family and friends. But I can feel a real sense of loss when I think of all those no longer here.
What I do to get through it is to take care of myself and others seriously.
To help you along for the next few weeks, I’ve listed some hints that may make things a little more manageable or, at least, reduce the stress. These are things I’ve found helpful.
1 - Take self-care seriously. Caring for yourself can take many forms. Each of us is different. For me it means taking the time to relax. I make sure I stay in touch with my needs and don’t overextend myself.
2 - Keep a semblance of a regular routine. The holiday season can get chaotic. Try and balance things. Eat a good breakfast. Exercise. Don’t run around crazy. Have a plan.
3 - Be tolerant of others. They are on the same roller coaster you are. A little compassion can go a long way in helping you tolerate all the family stuff that comes your way and even help some else, too. I take lots of deep breaths.
4 - Manage your indulgences. Parties, dinners, brunch with friends, it can get out of control and the pounds pile up. You don’t need to become an ascetic but you can indulge in a planned and orderly way. Put a limit on the drinks you have or the big meals you wolf down.
5 - Keep up your exercise regimen. I always give physical movement a place in my day. Maybe it’s in the morning or at night. A few minutes will do. Just keep it up.
6 - Get to see people that make you feel good. One way for me to feel good is to see selected friends that I really appreciate. I feel so much better. Reach out and connect. It can make others feel good, too.
I hope these suggestions make it easier for you to truly celebrate the spirit of this joyous season.
If you feel particularly down, don’t hesitate to seek out the assistance you need. If you see a therapist, take the time to discuss your issues. If you need a therapist, get one.
It’s always a good time to cultivate “truthfulness, humility, tolerance, loving kindness.” - Gandhi