Has it been a year already? Thanksgiving is already gone, and Christmas is quickly approaching. Though they conjure up joy, peace, and good will among men, the reality is that for millions of people, the holidays are welcomed with as much enthusiasm as a root canal. There are ways, however, to make it all far less painful, and possibly rewarding!
First, identify the underlying cause. There is one, and usually they are rooted in loneliness, loss or anxiousness. “Alone” doesn’t have to mean “lonely,” and worrying about the future wastes your present.
Here are some suggestions that have worked for me on those “off” holidays:
- Force yourself to go out into the world, and look for someone to help. This can be volunteering at homeless, children’s, women’s or animal shelters, nursing homes and house-bound seniors, Food kitchens, and more. Or start small; all around you there are people that can be helped in small ways on a daily basis, that will make their days brighter. I am quite tall, for example. When I go to the market, I always offer to help reach an item for a more “vertically-challenged” person who appears to be looking upward on any aisle. They love it, and you will feel great. Remember, the more love you give, the more you get. A link to find where to volunteer: http://www.volunteermatch.org/
- Get moving! If you have a piece of exercise equipment at home, use it relentlessly. It will promote endorphins, so you’ll feel better, and while everyone is piling on pounds, you’ll be whittling them off and looking great. If you have no equipment, climbing stairs or even jogging in place will work wonders.
- Get busy! What have you been putting off that needs to be done around your house? We all have those “projects” that we put off. No time like the present!
- Pamper yourself. Indulge in long hot bubble baths while listening to your favorite music. Keep hydrated, and not by hitting the bottle, unless it’s water! Get plenty of sleep, but as a reward, not an escape. After all that exercise, it shouldn’t be difficult.
- Avoid listening to music on the radio and watching television. Oddly, the joyous Christmas music is mostly sad. Avoid cable television from at least Thanksgiving to New Year’s. The shows on every channel will be holiday-themed. Rent your favorite upbeat DVD’s and watch them for entertainment, or find an instructional channel and learn something new.
- If none of the above appeal to you: Ignore them altogether. If you are alone and you hate that fact, sometimes it’s just best to make Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s “just another day.” It’s a challenge if you leave your home, but I recommend at least going out to a movie. Pick one that’s not holiday-themed, preferably an action movie. They help to get the adrenaline flowing. No sappy romances!
As a last resort, maybe a chuckle or a smile will be had from listening to my “Helpful Holiday Tips.”
Laughter always was and will be the best medicine! Go find some!