This is “the” holiday season of the year and we celebrate it as the most joyful time of the year. The music, the rushing around to get everything done is almost hypnotic as we move from place to place, craft our plans, decorate our homes.
For some, though, the feeling of joy is lost. The feeling is not joy, but sadness, frustration, and the nagging question, “what is wrong with me?” The experience of the holidays may be loneliness and isolation instead of community.
If this is you, consider creating a strategy ahead of time.
What does bring you joy? Do you love to travel? If you can, book a trip right now, that will take you through the holiday season. If now is too late, start saving now for a wonderful trip next Christmas. Spending time visiting a new place may be just the ticket, and you can focus during this season on building your dream trip. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with the holiday “noise,” go back to planning your trip.
Are you active in the community? Sign up volunteer time, especially during those difficult days. Volunteer in a shelter or with kids.
Exercise. Exercise is the best thing you can do to fight depression. In almost every medical journal’s description of a disease or disorder, it is noted that exercise improves the condition. While you are steadfastly avoiding the holiday parties, you can choose to use this time to really focus on your exercise strategy. Get a two-week jump-start on your new year, new body plan. Each time you complete an exercise session, make it a point to congratulate yourself and cheer yourself on. You will find the same pleasure when you congratulate yourself as you feel when someone else congratulates you. Spend time at the gym, if you can, or take advantage of “free” exercise: walk or run 30 minutes daily. If you subscribe to Hulu, try out the different exercise shows available. When you return to work in January, instead of being slightly sugar-bloated, you will glow!
Visit the sick or elderly. Offer to do someone’s grocery shopping for them. Offer to watch a busy mom’s kids for a while to give them a break.
Set a goal to try something you’ve always wanted to try. Drawing? Knitting? Unicycling? Golf? Sign up for some lessons around the holiday, allowing you to practice your new skills on the holidays themselves.
Redecorate. Do you have a room that you know could be put to better use, or that needs refreshing? Now is the time!
Do what you love. You do not have to follow any traditions, you can create your own traditions. Who knows? You might discover your own joy of the season!