Be accountable for your happiness!! Only you have control over your feelings, not your spouse, children or co-workers just you. However, sometimes sadness has a way of creeping in on us especially during the holiday season. This may be a time of dread for some of us. As life would have it, there are many reasons that sadness comes regardless of your efforts to be happy. Often, sadness during the holidays comes from old wounds that never healed, the loss of a loved one and harsh realities of the past and present or just being lonely. Gratefully, there are some tips and tactics that one could use to help during the tough holiday moments.
Tip 1. Feel the feeling - Be true to yourself, know that sadness, even when others expect you to be happy, is natural, normal and alright to feel. Do not try to pretend you are something that you are not. Feelings come and go, so allow yourself to feel the emotion and cry- it- out if necessary. Crying is a natural way of cleansing. Go to your room or wherever you feel comfortable without infringing on other’s happiness and let those tears fly. When you stop crying the sadness may stop too!
Tip2. Self-Indulge – Do, do, do for yourself! Often when you’re not feeling like your usual, it can be very refreshing to spoil yourself with things you normally miss out on during the year. If you’ve wanted a message and did not have the time before, get that message right now. During the holidays we take our annual leave and have time off, use it wisely and use it on yourself (use it on your mental health). Go to a comedy club, a great play, put on your favorite song and dance! Do the things that you love and like to help shake that sadness fog.
Tip 3. Get Busy – Our brains need a change of pace to make a change and movement helps. If you want to change your focus from sadness move your body, clean out that closet that you started on last year and never finished, move the living room around – you may decide to open the door if you have unexpected company, go wash your car by hand wearing layers of latex and leather gloves. That will get you going! By the time you finish you will be too tired to be sad!
Tip 4. Create New Holiday Traditions – Make new memories. Make a plan that involves helping others, if you like to bake make your specialty item and give it to the people who have no close family members or who are alone with no family. You could also make a vision board for the New Year that shapes your lifestyle for the upcoming 5 years, except do this as a scrapbook party with a few close friends. There are so many things to do that are fulfilling and helpful in shaping your future holidays don’t stop there, make a list of new traditions.
Most importantly, remember that you feel what you feel and you have a right to those feelings but you do not have to stay stuck. Even though this post may have some “different” humorous tactics, take the tips seriously. Taking good care of your mental health during the holidays is important and sometimes needed more due to the high levels of stress from spending, family, traveling and work deadlines. Happy Holidays!