5 Tips to Help Push Past the Holiday Blues
So, I don’t usually have to deal with this topic. Growing up, my parents created wonderful family holiday traditions that have stayed with my brother and I through the years. We’ve adopted many of those traditions to enjoy with our own families. However this year is very different and I’m not use to being all up in my feelings the way I have.
January 1st marks the 1 year anniversary that my son has been living with his family (dad, step-mom, and sister) in Kentucky. This is our first Christmas apart (knowing that he won’t be back right after the new year). He wasn’t here to trim our tree, he wasn’t here to sign his name on Christmas cards, he wasn’t here to bake and decorate cookies, and he wasn’t here to build our traditional ginger bread house. I wasn’t even going to bother buying one, because he is usually the gingerbread house project manager, and takes charge of the construction of the gingerbread house while the girls have fun with the decorating. I was talking to one of my best friends and I told her about my holiday funk. She gave me words of encouragement as good friends should do, but I had to do something more. So I created a list that works for me and keeps my anxiety at bay. I actually do a few things from this list daily. It doesn’t take away the fact that I miss my son, but it helps to put my heart at ease. I know he is safe and happy, and I keep that in mind always. So, let’s get into that list.
- Talk it out. I’ve always been a talker. I HAVE to talk about how I’m feeling and why. Talking and writing is a great way to relieve stress. I don’t want my son to know I’m down in the dumps this year, so I confide in select family and friends who I know are active listeners. Oftentimes when I need to talk, it’s not for advice, it’s just the act of getting stuff off my chest.
- Pray. I don’t just pray before bed. I pray several times a day, when I know I need to feel the comfort of God and to praise Him for His favor. Psalm 34:17-20 is a go-to in my bible when I need to be reminded that I can cry out to God, and that He will deliver me from all my troubles.
- Reflect. I don’t necessarily see it as living in the past; I’m missing my child. So I honestly find comfort in reflecting on our past Christmases together. Videos, pictures,
old cards, and ornaments that he’s made are truly my treasures.
- Exercise. Exercise increases your overall health and boosts your endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals produced by the body that trigger happy feelings. Get into a good workout routine so you can receive this “happy boost” daily. You can find 5 reasons that you should workout today in my previous post here. I workout 5-6 days a week and I attribute a portion of my happiness to exercise.
- Create new traditions, as well as spend time with and appreciate the ones who are there with you now. My children’s well-being is very important to me. Although I may get the blues from time to time, I try my best not to let it affect the holidays for my girls. Sometimes this is easier said than done, but when I see their cute little faces as they jump up and down screaming about every little craft we do for Christmas, it really helps to put things into perspective for me. And oh yeah, instead of a gingerbread house, this year I bought a gingerbread train #newtraditions.
There you have it! 5 tips to use to ensure your holiday season is filled with hope, encouragement, love, peace and joy. Do you ever get into a holiday funk around the holidays? Why? What do you do to push the blues away? Let us know in the comments!