Melancholy can descend upon us like heavy drapes from a theater, which is why it’s good to have a plan for holiday sadness. The gala emphasis on family, while good, can also push our loss buttons causing our cheery feelings to be run off by “ghosts of Christmas past.” Those whom we love who are far away or have died, suddenly take the forefront of our minds, which can cast us back into the throes of grief. And while we never want to forget them we also cannot mentally and emotionally afford to allow those memories and feelings to disrupt our interiors and dismantle our sanity. There are a number of things we can do to help ourselves through the holidays and below are a few things that have helped me.
Choose good thoughts. Place boundaries on your head verbiage. We can’t afford to indulge thoughts of “why me” or ‘if only. When you find your self bumping into “woe is me” sentiments you need to back up and take a fresh path of thoughts. Mental health is a business, our business, its not a game so we cant afford to play with our well being. Remember our will is stronger than our feelings. We can choice to make right choices even when we don’t feel like it. For instance; if I wake up and I don’t feel like getting out of bed I can command my muscles to move and they have to obey. That’s the way we are wired. God knew we would need a way out of our misery so he designed within us a sturdy will that grows stronger with use.
Choose movies and books that brighten your season. You may have to shop around to find some. Try asking friends for recommendations. Avoid movies that cast dark shadows on your soul. You know the ones that cause you to sit and sulk because they are either full of manipulative scenes that we are overcome by or that we have tender memories attached to that pierce us with pangs of what we don’t have.
Choose music and conversations that are cheery. My favorite new Christmas album this year is from my friends, Point of Grace (link: https://www.pointofgrace.net/store-3/sing-noel)
Choose to get plenty of rest. If you are an emotional absorber minimize your exposure to sad sacks and maximize your times around folks who love life and love you. When we stay so busy we exhaust our reserves, which is a temptation this festive time of the year, we set ourselves up for sadness.
Choose light meals, it will help with energy levels and mood swings. Eat a handful of nuts before you enter a party in case the menu is filled with too many tempting delectables, that are sugar-laden and will effect our mood. Also drink a glass of water before dinner it will help us not feel so appetite driven. Decide before you order off a menu to make wise choices. Sugar and caffeine are proven to play havoc with our internal balance.
Choose to be more intentional on giving than receiving and be a grateful receiver.
Some of my favorite books & movies that bring cheer and hope during the holidays:
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