Why do people experience holiday depression? Why do cardiac problems spike during the holidays? Why is sobriety more difficult during the winter months?Holiday depression is common in our culture. The holidays seem to evoke emotional discord in many of us.
Celebrating the Holidays for YOU
Why do cardiac problems spike during the holidays? Why do more people experience depression during the holidays? Why is sobriety more difficult during the winter months?
The holidays seem to evoke emotional discord in many of us. Whether it’s due to financial stress, interpersonal relationship issues, or past disturbing experiences, there are alternatives to attract better holidays. Many people suppress these challenges because they have come to believe that this stress only happens 1-3 months out of the year. Dreading the holidays is the norm in our culture. However, how could this change?
There is a story before another story as to why it is you might dislike the holidays. You might blame your father because of his drinking during Christmas. However, his father was abusive and angry around the holidays too. And now you are challenging to be around too because of this family history. Maybe your parents fought a lot during this time of the year because worked slowed down for your father. A family member might have passed away or you had a lover break your heart during the winter months.
It is important to recognize that many families pass on their cognitive blueprints of their human drama during the holidays. The story that you use to convince yourself that the holidays suck today is entangled with past drama and by confusion from which you have been taught.
You still have the choice to choose how you would like to feel regardless of history. Your feelings and experiences do not have to be contingent on how others will behave or if you receive that Christmas bonus. You wouldn’t enter an important business meeting with a fatalistic mindset if you wanted to achieve your goal. You wouldn’t visualize yourself losing a basketball game if you enjoy winning. You wouldn’t imagine the worse case scenario on an audition for a casting call. Why would you set yourself up for failure during the holidays?
Here are some suggestions to effectively approach the holidays for a better outcome:
• Define for yourself how you would like the holidays to be for you without past influences or other’s feedback. Create your own holiday and celebration that better serves your family, friends, and your own needs.
• Send love to the person or family member you are having challenges with. Envision him/her having a wonderful experience and smiling. Visualize yourself feeling happy. See yourself effortlessly connecting to your loving essence even if other people seem unhappy.
• Create a hypnotic cue that reconnects you to happiness. For example, you could wear a rubber band and snap yourself when you feel yourself becoming emotionally triggered. You can keep a rock or lucky charm to reminds you of love in your pocket for you to hold while you are communicating with a difficult person.
• Write out a positive and loving script detailing exactly how you envision this upcoming holiday. Make sure it is in past tense as if you experienced it already. Be has as vivid as possible to connect the experience to your senses.
• Maybe volunteer at a homeless shelter or place where you can help those who are struggling.
• Try to only connect with those who support and accept you. Only engage in gatherings, parties, or events that are alignment with your heart.
• Self-care is important. This year you could be frugal with friends and family and splurge on yourself such as buying yourself a spa treatment or going away on a vacation by yourself or with a fun companion.
• Go on a healing retreat. This could be the best time to go because you might be vulnerable and more sensitive. Instead of celebrating the holidays celebrate YOU.
There are many creative ways to experience the holidays with joy. You do not need to call it the holidays if that works better for you. Much of nature goes into hibernation or becomes dormant. The days are shorter and it is cooler. The Taoist suggests rest and not overexerting yourself. This is the time when yin/feminine/moon dominates yang/masculine/sun. It is the perfect time for processing and conserving energy.
The holidays are derived from ancient customs. It was a time for celebration such as for agriculture, the sun, rejuvenation, rebirth, and honoring the season. The holidays today are heavily based on consumerism, vacation time, end of a work quarter, or trying to please your sweetheart or family. Presents used to be tiny and were tied to the Christmas tree. Today, some person’s present is parked in the driveway. Be creative this year and reach deeper inside yourself without being distracted by the chaos of the collective unconscious.