The holidays can be a depressing time for many people. Many of us know one or more people who turn into The Grinch (or a cousin of the Grinch) during this time of the year. The holidays for me have never been an overly joyous occasion. As a child this time of year was hoping we had a few gifts under the tree on Christmas morning so I wouldn’t have to lie when kids at school asked what I got for Christmas. In college, this time of year was spent studying for my finals and hustling extra shifts as a waitress, so Christmas Day was my day to rest! Since I have been working in corporate America, there are holiday parties, early days off, and a lot of holiday chatter in general. This forces me to deal with the lack of joy I often feel around the holidays and really work at making sure I don’t get the “Holiday Blues”.
For many years I believed that this time was when families came together, enjoyed good food and each other’s company. While I have experienced these happy times while visiting my friends’ home, I have rarely experienced this with my own family, and that lead my VERY BLASÉ feelings about the holidays. What made my feelings worse is that I wanted to enjoy this time of year. I wanted to be excited about spending time with people I love, giving gifts and discussing my holiday plans. Once I let go of the holidays were “supposed” to look like, I learned to enjoy the holidays MY way.
If you are worried about having the Holiday Blues here are 7 ways to shoo away those Blues!
1. Count Your Blessings! This time of year it is easy to be reminded of what we do not have. It could be the loss of a family member or the loss of a job. It could be the lack of the ability to fulfill Christmas list or the ability to afford to go home to be with family. Although, it is not easy, remember what you do have and think outside of the box for gift giving. Be thankful for the loved ones that are still with you, enjoy and celebrate your time with them.
2. Redefine Your Holiday! Everyone doesn’t celebrate Christmas in the same way-hell everyone doesn’t even celebrate Christmas! You don’t have to follow the masses and put up a tree, do a bunch of shopping, travel to visit family you really don’t want to just to “celebrate the holidays”-create your own tradition. Decide what the holidays mean to you, and DO THAT! So what if it is different from what everyone else does, I promise you people will find your “non-traditional” holiday interesting.
3. Have SKYPE or FaceTime Holiday! Being away from home can be difficult, and sometimes a phone call isn’t enough! Thank goodness for technology! Reach out to your family or close friends and set up a time to talk! The beauty of using Skype or FaceTime is you can see them. It may make you wish even more that you could be there, but you will probably end the call with a smile on your face!
4. Reach out to others. If you don’t want to spend Christmas day alone, ask your single, childless co-workers if they have plans. If you all don’t want to do dinner, just make plans for the movies. It will at least get you out of the house. If there is a small group of you all, plan a Christmas Eve happy hour, there is always a bar open, somewhere!
5. Volunteer. Many places will feed the homeless during the holidays, and this is a great time to volunteer. You can also check with local children’s hospitals. Volunteer list fill up quickly around the holidays so begin your search early. By volunteering you will be out of the house, meet new people and give back to the community all at one time. A simple Google search will give you shelter, soup kitchens, and hospitals in your area.
6. Plan a lazy day. Yes, plan it! To have a good lazy day one must be prepared because leaving the house will not be on the agenda! Get any snacks and food you need, maybe hit up Rebox a day early (for those movies you never made it to the theater to see), plan your binge list from Netflix or Hulu or even grab a good book. If you will be alone, it is the perfect opportunity turn Christmas Day into YOUR Day. Also, you pick up some magazines and craft supplies and work on your vision board for 2017!
7. Avoid the Grinch! Hey if you don’t like the holidays, fine. However, when someone is constantly complaining, whether it’s about the traffic, the decorations, their lack of money to buy gifts, being single on the holidays-You do not need to be around that person because their negative energy will rub off on you! You can’t take the chance of me catching their Holiday Blues too!
Remember you are in control of you feelings. You are in control of your perspective. While you may not be able to have the holidays you want, you can’t crawl in a cave until they are over so you may as well find a way to enjoy them. Life is too short not to enjoy your life, even if it is not perfect.