When Holidays are Painful
Jan 13, 2018
When holidays are painful….
It’s a week of thankfulness around the United States.
We make a big deal about it, being together with family and friends.
Can I confess something?
For years I HATED the holidays.
A lot of it had to do with my time overseas. The holidays reminded me of the two years, back to back, I spent in the Middle East and of all the men and women who did not come home.
It took the birth of my first child for me to decide the holidays would mean something different. I did not want to pass my skepticism, negativity, and depression on to her. Now, I have to admit, all of this is still new to me. My oldest is only 5 years old at the time of writing this blog, so I’m still learning.
If you can relate to the holidays being a difficult time of the year, I’d like to share with you a few things that have helped me push past my “bah humbug” attitude.
- Give back. In some way, give to the community around you. Whether that is through Operation Christmas Child or bringing in food to a local shelter, do SOMETHING.
- Allow the pain to wash over you. Don’t try to hide difficult moments. If you want to be angry at the world and go punch a bag, do it. If songs, movies, or commercials are triggers, allow yourself to feel the emotions rip your heart apart. Then allow someone who truly cares for you to show love; with a hug, coffee together, or share conversation.
- Decide to make the holiday about someone else. Choose to step outside of your mind as much as possible and focus on another. Whether it’s by helping them with a task, giving them an anonymous gift, or being kinder in words & deeds; place your attention on someone else.
- Honor the memory of those who were killed. Give a donation in their name, tell someone about their memory (I’m always open to this, email me.), do something they loved.
- Be among the living. Holiday parties and gatherings are extremely overwhelming to my senses. I usually mess up my words and am unsure how to act. However, I still attend. Here’s the great part though, I have power over how long I stay. Choosing to stay for an hour or two (or the whole time if it’s a good day) gives me control in an otherwise powerless situation.
The holidays will always be a mix of pain and joy. I no longer try to pretend there is difficulty in navigating the holiday season; instead, I’ve chosen to make a safe place to talk about it. Whether in my journal, with a good friend, family member, or stare at a wall for a few minutes. Each of us processes emotions differently and as long as we aren’t hurting ourselves or anyone else, let’s give ourselves permission to do so.
This year, one of the ways I’m processing the extreme emotion is by doing a Bookfest. It’s a book giveaway of the top books to impact my life this past year. I love to read and give presents, so this year I will honor the living and push myself outside my comfort zone. I’d like to thank you for being part of my blog community :).
One of my joys is being able to show women how to streamline their days so they can leave a legacy. Another passion is adventuring with my 3 littles in princess quests and epic dragon battles while pursuing an 80+ year marriage with my supportive husband. The online space has become a great journey and I’m delighted to be here with you all .