Did you know?
The busiest time of the year for counseling offices and psychiatric hospitals in the United States begins December 1 and continues through the middle of January each year.
In the deepest part of us, we each have hopes and expectations, some life-changing, which are linked to this season of the year. It is the time of year when we are most vulnerable, and when disappointments we have experienced in our lives usually surface.
The Holiday Season is the time of year when every adult becomes a child-at-heart, and when every child hopes for their wishes to come true.
So How Can I Experience Truly “Happy Holidays?”
Determine beforehand (now!) how you will respond in given situations. Listed on this page are a few common “Joy-Robbers” that can sabotage life’s meaning and fulfillment during the Holidays.
Simply put, stress is Fear telling us that we can’t possibly do enough to gain the approval we feel we need…
Settle it now – it’s impossible to get everything done. Let yourself off the hook.
Decide what you can reasonably accomplish, and then don’t push yourself to do more. Relax.
Make appointments during the Holiday to enjoy the time with your family. Let yourself have fun.
Conflict happens because we don’t think about what our actions and attitudes are doing to those we love.
Choose to refrain from having conflict during the holiday; this is not the time to settle deep issues, or discuss areas of pain and disappointment. Journal the things that you want to work through with your family – AFTER CHRISTMAS
The Holidays are no fun when you don’t feel good. Don’t push yourself.
Pushing yourself and your body past your limits decreases your ability to fight infection, and lowers your immunities—so slow down your pace.
Make sure you get enough rest; research indicates we each need 9 hours of sleep each night to be healthy.
We each need 5 hugs a day to maintain emotional health. Stay close to your friends and family. Studies show that a healthy community increases well-being and healthy living.
Wash your hands at least 3 times a day; – after restroom breaks, before eating, after contact with others. Try to keep your hands away from your face. Antibacterial cleansers are a great help. (Purel, GermX etc.)
Set your focus to search out and find the good things in the season. Look for the good in your family too. Try to focus on, and give thanks for those things.
Determine beforehand how much you plan to spend on each person on your list, and don’t violate the amount you set.
Plan at least one meal out for yourself (and your spouse) during the season.
If you haven’t done so in the past, consider putting aside monies specifically for Christmas usage beginning in January. Save throughout the year for the season, so that you are not pressured when it arrives next year.
Remember, the Holidays are about relationship; enjoy your family, and the gift of God’s Grace; don’t strive. Consider: What homemade gifts could you give – without using a credit card?
Statistically, the busiest season of the year for psychiatric wards and hospitals is the Christmas and Holiday season. Most attribute this to the fact that creating the “perfect” family image tends to compete for our time during these weeks, conflicting with the realities we all experience. If this is true for you, take some time for solitude and spend it in prayer and meditation. Ask the Holy Spirit to show you things you can give thanks for, in every circumstance you find yourself depressed over. (You would not be the person you are today without those circumstances.) Then, find someone who is in a worse situation than you are. Determine to bless them during this season. Many people have literally “served their way out of depression” by serving someone else in need. If you need counseling, or a friend to talk to, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Let someone else into your life….