Here it comes, days are shorter, nights are longer, in most places, the cold weather is creeping in, and many of us want to curl up in a ball on our couch by 6 p.m! The holiday season is when the insanity begins! For many, the holiday season is when anxiety, depression, fatigue, and brain fog roll in making it hard to be festive and enjoy the holiday season. It’s entirely reasonable for some people not to be as excited about the holidays. How many people do you often hear saying, “I hate the holidays!” Many can not afford tangible gifts, don’t have family around to celebrate with and feel like they are alone in a sea of a million acquaintances. What can you do about that?
First off, try to remember that the holidays are not meant to be a time to go broke and give only tangible gifts. There are many ways you can give rather than spending a whole lot of money that most people don’t have. For example, “time” is a great gift! Making time to spend with someone you haven’t seen for a while can be enjoyable and uplifting! Sitting together laughing and reminiscing can bring happy smiles to someone feeling lonely.
If you can’t be there in person, put aside time to talk on the telephone and don’t forget we live in a technology-driven society that has FaceTime, Skype, and Facebook video! Use any method that allows you to spend time with someone and see them but not physically be there. Giving someone you love your “time” can, in many cases, be the peace of mind they need to feel like they are wanted.
Time isn’t the only gift you can give that doesn’t cost a lot. You can cook dinner and bring it to someone who can’t afford it, volunteer at a shelter/ food kitchen or investigate other ways you can contribute to giving.
Many people dread the whole ‘weight gain’ topic. It’s cold outside; we’re all tired, and all you want to do is curl up in your blanket and relax. Well, don’t give in to it! Get yourself up and moving. Find a fun dance class at the gym, put on your favorite music in the house and dance around or do some push-ups and sit-ups while watching television. Keep yourself moving, your blood flowing and your endorphins contributing to your brain’s happiness! Get yourself outside in the sunlight during the day; tilt your head back and absorb just a few minutes of sunlight on your face. Breathe and take in the air around you and just be still for a moment. Embrace the fact that you have ‘life.’
If you’re feeling down and out because the holidays are coming, stop and remind yourself of the simple things you can do for yourself and others that will bring a smile to yours or someone else’s face. Remind yourself there are many ways to make yourself and others feel good. You just have to find what those methods are. Challenge yourself to give from your heart not only from your pocket.
Try this one simple exercise every day. When you wake up in the morning and before you go to sleep at night, think of three things you are thankful for. You can even repeat the same three. You can be grateful for something as simple as, “I woke up today,” “I was able to give a dollar to someone,” “I have a job.” Find those three things that indeed give you some peace and make you feel thankful.
Survive those dreaded holiday blues by being proactive. When you give from your heart, you can’t go wrong! Think about yourself, would you like to receive a gift you will never use or would you instead talk with a friend you haven’t seen in a while? Would you rather be alone during the holidays or at a church or shelter helping to bring a smile to someone else’s face?
Trust me, your heart will feel better knowing you did something sweet for someone..and you didn’t even have to go broke! Survive those holiday blues by giving from your heart! Making a difference starts with one simple act of kindness.