I’m a holiday type of person. I started listening to Christmas music on November 1st this year (don’t judge me ?). But what I love about the holidays is, generally speaking, this time of year pulls out the best in people (operative words being “generally speaking”). Love and peace is advertised everywhere, and in this world of greed and hate, I’ll take any push of positivity I can get, even though it’s usually followed by a sale price. ?
Growing up in Chicago, the holidays were always spent with my big family, me eating at the kiddie table and lots of presents. After living here in New York City with kids, I’ve stayed local and it took some years to adapt to a new way of holiday-ing (totally made up word ?). The holidays were hard at first without my Chicago family. It was just me, the girls, and ordered holiday food. And that’s when I started my journey to peace around this time of year. I had to recognize that I had my two biggest blessings in front of me, my kids. And if I only had them and nothing else, that was enough. I decided to have joy.
Now, I can happily say I’ve learned how to be at peace with a reworked version of the holidays. I let go to what the holidays were for me growing up and built new traditions and flexibility around having joy this season.
That’s why this year, I’ve spent time praying for those who struggle during this time. And it could be for a variety of reasons: grieving a loved one, stress from family dysfunction, missing a child that’s with the other parent during this holiday….so many reasons. Below are some ways that I’ve been able to combat my blues (when I had them) with the hopes that it could help someone else.
- Manage Expectations: We have to realize that the traditions we grew up with formed our expectations in life. But at any point in life, we can recognize, reflect and decide to continue or change traditions and expectations for ourselves. I got to the point where I was telling myself, I don’t need my entire family around, or to be in Chicago, to be joyful right now. I found the joy in the right now and made it beautiful. You can too. Manage your expectations of this time of year and create new ones that work for you and your joy.
- Plan Accordingly: If we know certain times of the year affect us adversely, we can plan visits, brunches, a trip…anything to slightly distract ourselves from the feelings…at least until we are ready to deal with them. Or the plans can help support us (more about that in #4). Who said you have to stay in your house, your city, or country for the holidays? If possible, why not go somewhere else? Or go with another family to a lake house for the weekend? You can reinvent and plan accordingly so you aren’t at home staring at your sad feelings.
- Affirm, Affirm, Affirm: You all know I believe in affirmations! So, however you are feeling (assuming it’s a not positive feeling), say the opposite in a present tense statement over and over again. Like 200 times a day. I’m not kidding. For example, if you are feeling lonely or left out, you can affirm: “I have all the love and support I need all around me. I am loved. I am supported. I have joy.” Do that and watch the magic work.
- Seek Support: Call a friend, family member and tell them how you are feeling. I know, I know…everyone is just loving life right now except you, right? That’s how it feels. But let me tell you: NO, not everyone is. People will be more than happy to help you feel better especially during this time of year. And if not, keeping calling. Ask for help. We are here for you. I’ll even give you my number if you need to call someone for encouragement. ☺️
All in all moms, I believe you can beat the blues. They are normal and you shouldn’t feel bad for having them. Hopefully the above tips help you through this time of year. Wishing you wellness and joy!