With Fall/Winter holiday season quickly approaching, this time of year can trigger memories that lead to sadness for some. It is not unlikely to hear people express indifference or displeasure for the Fall/Winter holiday season. In addition to sadness, feelings of loneliness, isolation and an increase in addictive behaviors are not uncommon this time of year. Here are a few coping tips that may be useful to help combat the holiday blues:
Laughter: "Laughter strengthens your immune system, boosts mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress." Sounds like medicine, huh! Visit a comedy club, watch your favorite comedy show(s), spend time with that friend who tends to leave you in tears from laughing. As mentioned, laughter diminishes pain, but not just physical pain, emotional pain as well.
To go list: create a "to go list." Write down a few places you would like to visit or trip(s) you would like to take, and determine how feasible this is for you to make happen this holiday season. These places can be in your own neighborhood or city-- like visiting that museum you always see on your way to work and have told yourself several times you would like to visit.
Recreate memories: if this time of year tend to bring up memories that trigger unhappy feelings, try to make new memories. So if you are reminded of your aunt who always make the best pies, may be try recreating her version of the pie you loved the most as a way of honoring her memory. In this way, you can still feel close to the person you miss, while positively reframing how you perceive your memories.
Gratitude list: a quick way to transmute certain energies/emotions is to create a gratitude list. May be this month before bedtime, think of 2 things you are most thankful for that happened during your day. Try not to judge or devalue the things that you may identify a feeling of gratitude with-- being thankful for the small things can be just as important as the big things.
Whatever you decide to do this holiday season, remember to nurture and be patient with yourself and your time. There is no one way to spend the holidays. Do what feels best and healthy for your spirit.