The Holidays…some call it the most wonderful time of the year. What if it’s not?
There are many different dynamics that make the holidays challenging: financial issues, family dysfunction, overeating, overdrinking, unrealistic expectations, etc.
Some people have the problem of too many people around. I’m going to talk about the opposite issue – feeling isolated. Separation from their family can be due to divorce, geography or a winter snowstorm. For families of divorce, children are often shuttled from one side of the family to the other. In extreme cases, a parent and a child may not see each other at all.
Overall I’d come to consider the holidays a major downer. But several years ago something changed. I found a book that challenged my way of thinking (I love finding books like this). Barbara DeAngelis in her book, Real Moments, said:
“Silence nourishes the soul and heals the heart.”
“Aloneness is not the same as loneliness.”
“The word alone is derived from the Middle English phrase ‘all one’.”
Her insights helped me adapt. I took the time to heal, got to know myself better, and became more comfortable being around myself. This has made a huge difference. Not only do I deal with the holidays much better, but more importantly it’s really helped me grow personally.
Shorter day length, winter temperatures & storms can also make us feel more isolated. If you’re like me, you long for the warmth of summer & more daylight hours. The second thing that made a difference for me was this quote by Albert Camus:
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
This quote always energizes me about the potential inside me waiting to come out. I’ve learned to focus on things that are better suited to this season – writing, reflection, reading or watching movies. Also, it is a great time to do those things that often get put off. For example, de-cluttering the basement – which I just finished doing. Yes!
What things you have come up with to make getting through the holidays easier? Let me know in the comment section.