7 Ways Up When Holidays Get You Down
Recreate the holiday season! If it is an unhappy or stressful time of year for you, give it new purpose and meaning. First and foremost…
1. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
drink too much
eat too much
spend too much
be a couch potato
eat natural, healthy foods
drink lots of water
get enough sleep
spend time outdoors
Human bodies are designed for regular physical activity. The sedentary nature of much of modern life probably plays a significant role in the epidemic incidence of depression today. Many studies show that depressed patients who stick to a regimen of aerobic exercise improve as much as those treated with medication. Andrew Weil
2. EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS
The value of expressing feelings cannot be over-estimated…
When you hold your breath, eat when you’re not hungry, drink too much or distract yourself in some way from what you’re feeling, you are repressing energy…It is temporarily out of sight but not out of mind. In spite of best efforts to keep it hidden, repressed energy leaks out into our bodies, feelings and behavior. From Healing Feelings
Acknowledge how you feel without judging yourself. Verbalize your emotions. Talking is a catharsis. It releases pent up energy. Words put rambling thoughts and feelings into
order and help us understand ourselves. If no one is available to talk to, write about your thoughts and feelings. If emotional pain is severe, seek professional help.
Take emotional responsibility
Acknowledge and express feelings
Dwell on negative emotions
3. SMILE AND LAUGH
To instantly feel better…
Psychologist Paul Ekman who extensively studied faces said, “What we discovered is that expression alone is sufficient to create marked changes in the autonomic nervous system.” The look on your face has a direct effect on your body! Smiling sends a message to your brain and body that everything is good. You immediately start to feel better…As the subconscious gets the message that all is well, your outlook and behavior are affected. From Make the Best of the Rest of Your Life
Produces endorphins that counter stress
Boosts the immune system
Increases blood flow
Stimulates the brain and aids memory
Improves mood and raises self-confidence
Transcends logic and negative thinking
Overcomes feelings of fear, isolation, depression, anger
Creates a bond between people
Expands awareness and perception
Warning: Humor may be hazardous to your illness. Ellie Katz
Watch sitcoms and funny movies. Enjoy a laugh out loud book like The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.
4. EXTEND YOURSELF
Put your focus on others. Brighten someone’s day. Express gratitude to friends and family. Participate. Go to community and church gatherings. Volunteer. Take gifts to people in nursing homes or shelters. Adopt a pet. Be a secret Santa.
Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
5. CREATE A RITUAL
Replace the holiday season as it is generally perceived with something meaningful for you. Make it a time of personal retreat, cleansing of body or home. Design your own spiritual retreat. Read, listen to music, meditation tapes. Do a detox diet. If you are alone at Christmas, make it a time to celebrate you. Buy yourself gifts. If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, create a ritual to celebrate that person’s memory. Write letters to the spirit of the deceased expressing your love and appreciation.
6. CHANGE YOUR PAST
Memories of unhappy holidays in the past can overshadow the present. We then blame the holidays for creating the pain but they are not the cause. They merely resonate memories and pain we are already holding. For that, we should actually be grateful. It is an opportunity for emotional healing.
Memories are not facts. They change depending upon the state of mind we are in at the present moment. If we look at the past through a different filter, our memories change. Painful memories can be transformed by looking through the eyes of forgiveness.
From Healing Feelings: When you change your mind, you change your past. When you change your past, you change its effect on the present. You no longer carry the resentment or anger or guilt or fear that the previous images of the past engendered so you also change your future. To forgive is to forget because your past experience is transformed into something else entirely.
We can change the past by changing the way we perceive it. Look at a negative memory from a different angle. What did you learn? How can you use it to grow, become stronger, wiser?
7. SET A GOAL
Set goals for the holidays. Use the time to learn and grow. Binge on TED Talks. Read a good book. Do something you’ve never done before. Find a new interest. Take up a hobby. Cook a special recipe. Write a short story. Take music lessons. Start learning another language. Goals & Motivation
Make a collage of inspiring pictures or quotes…
Successful people maintain a positive focus in life not matter what is going on around them. Jack Canfield
Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into visible. Tony Robbins
The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. Oprah Winfrey
Are the holidays a challenge for you? Don’t close your eyes, shut down and hope they’ll pass quickly. Determine to look at them differently. Just the willingness to embrace the challenge holidays hold for you will make you feel better.
My Holiday Wish For You…
Love in Your Heart
Peace in Your Mind
Meaning in Your Life
Originally published at www.gerioneill.com on December 23, 2015.