Define This Time of the Year for You
This time of the year can have different meanings for each one of us. Traditionally, it is categorized as a time for family gatherings and finding the perfect gift. For others this may be a time of loneliness, family friction, reminders of loss, or not being able to provide during a season focused on giving.
If the holiday season means not so happy feelings, acknowledge your feelings, but do not become your negative feelings. Accept that this too, shall pass.
If family gatherings are difficult for you or you are dreading the drama that comes along with your family gatherings, try spending less time with your family and more time with another family. Don’t have any family members left or close by? Now might be a good time to start establishing an extended family or forming new friendships.
There is no need to feel lonely or isolated. Adults and children who are sick and shut-in at home, or in the hospital would be very grateful to spend time with someone. There are nursing homes filled with residents where no one comes to see them. They would love to have a special relationship with someone.
Being around other people and helping others can be very rewarding and give you a warm feeling inside; it can also help you to realize what is really important. Helping out will make you feel valued and will help occupy your time, instead of spending the day alone. Many organizations and churches are looking for volunteers this time of the year.
Plan now on how you would like to define this season. If feelings become overwhelming, seek assistance from a higher power, a good friend, a minister, or a qualified mental health professional.
Desiree R. James, LISW