Sweep Away the Holiday BluesDec 21, 2022
Holiday blues happen. We have all experienced them at one point or another. Symptoms can manifest as fatigue, stress, disappointment, loneliness, sadness, a sense of loss, or disconnection from yourself and others. You are not alone if you are feeling a touch of the blues.
The holiday blues come from situational and seasonal factors: daylight diminishes, our eating habits are thrown off, our routines change, or we have more tasks to add to our already overwhelmed schedules. There is an excess of alcohol and sweets. Over-commercialization is disheartening. We miss family and friends due to divorce, distance, or death.
When we accept reality, we can navigate it more easily.
There are ways to shift our experience. The simple act of acknowledging and naming our feelings takes away some of their heaviness. When we can admit to ourselves that we are feeling sad, or lonely, or are disheartened, our feelings are more free to move on. Recognize that our uncomfortable feelings point us to our unmet needs, which cues us to implement better self-care.
Hydrating, sticking to routines, and taking quiet time are common suggestions to cope with stress. Here are a few outside-the-box soul-care strategies to overcome the holiday blues.
Move things around to shift your perspective
Rearrange objects in your home or yard. Change your year-round photos on the wall to holiday photos. Shift your furniture while setting up holiday decorations. Put up a string of holiday lights. Turning them on each night transforms a familiar room and perhaps lights up your mood. Making a simple change in your surroundings can give you a fresh perspective.
Be creatively playful
Open up to your playful side. The mesmerizing act of cutting ordinary paper into snowflakes can shift your way of seeing. Apply creativity in simple ways. It can be as easy as gathering a few pinecones and placing them in a colorful bowl on a table. Set your dinner table with different placemats or switch your family’s seating arrangements. Create a handmade holiday card for a loved one or for someone else going through a challenge.
Remember a loved one
Relationships are not perfect. Take time to reflect on both the happy times and the more difficult times together. As you think of the happy times that bring a smile to your face, bring up that inner happiness. As you think of the difficult times, go beyond the problem or argument. Were those moments painful because some need you had was not being met? After you
identify the unmet need, pause a moment. Is that unmet need still alive in you? Formulate a strategy to meet that need. For example, consider getting a massage or a pedicure if you have a need for touch.
Light one or more candles
Lighting candles are often part of holiday traditions, including Diwali, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Winter Solstice. Candles bring a primal sense of peace. As we watch the flickering flame, we calm down. Here is a simple meditation. Light a candle. Focus on the space between the wick and the flame as a way to calm yourself down and soften your mood.
Give your inner child attention and a gift
What made you smile as a child during the holidays? Maybe your inner child would like hot chocolate with mini marshmallows. Or maybe your inner child enjoys the yummy aromas and flavors of homemade holiday cookies. Decorate a gingerbread house that they never had the chance to make. Is there a favorite holiday show or song your inner child is missing? Let that inner child know the adult you is looking out for them.
Bonus: Sweep Your Floors
Sweep as a prayer ... as good medicine ... to ground yourself ... to soothe anxiety. Trust the Divine to guide your even through the mundane. Find hope as the room looks a bit brighter.
Wishing you an abundance of self-care, love, and light,
If you would like to share this with a loved one, click here is a printable pdf for you to download.