I am a big fan of the holiday season. I love it! I love the presents, I love the songs, I love the parties. I know that not everyone loves this season, but I really do. There’s only one problem and that’s what happens to me when the holidays are over. I get really blue. The holidays are gone, the weather usually sucks, and everyone goes back to life as usual. Any suggestions for how to make the transition more easily?
I, too, love the winter holiday season! And I understand the sometimes rocky transition into “life as usual” entering into the New Year.
One of the things I do is leave up my holiday decorations for a couple of weeks. I allow myself to continue to enjoy them, rather than have them be a sad reminder that “it’s over”. I soak up the appreciation of drinking out of my little holiday mug, and I keep reminding myself of the sweet memories that bring warmth to my experience of this time of year.
I also increase my self-care, sometimes adding a little extra time to my sleep, meditation and exercise. And if I were an extrovert, I would also reach out to friends and be a little more vigilant about remaining connected. As an introvert, I honor my need for alone time, allowing myself to drop deep into the darkness of this time of year (in the U.S.).
Not to take away the romance, but a more scientific understanding of my love of the holidays supports me as well. Those of us who love particular seasons, or even places, have particular synapses lining up with neurons in our brains, sending specific hormones to our bodies that feel like joy, or serenity. The wonderful thing about this knowledge is that it affirms my understanding that we can create this very same brain-body experience by choosing particular thoughts. I use this more fervently in times like those you’re describing.
I’m not suggesting that you ignore your blue feelings entirely. It’s a delicate balance, for me: 1) the commitment to consciously choose to think in ways that support my greater happiness while 2) also allowing myself to be honest about my feelings in reaction to the constant change that is a part of life.
I like to allow my blues to bring their messages and gifts. So often, grief brings me right back to love, when I allow it to move through me. I feel the grief of a first Christmas without a loved one, for instance, and am reminded of the love we shared together when they were here. And this reminds me to practice presence with those who are with me today, and to celebrate this love in my life.
Sitting and petting a furry friend is also a good practice. And journaling. Any of those basic taking-sweet-care-of-you practices…now’s the time to break ‘em out! Take them for a spin and see which ones support you the most.
The trick is to take action. Acts of love for your sweet self. Speaking of acts of love for you, that may be where the connections of “joy and holidays” started being formed in your brain. Continuing that connection is always a good thing!
And please do have a Happy New Year!
Blessings and Love to you in all you do!
What is your experience with holidays? Share your comments below!
Have a question for Meli? Interested in a private session (in person or Skype)? Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org