Although we associate the holidays with festive celebrations with family and friends, the truth is that this time of year can also be a tough time for a lot of people. For instance, if you've gone through a breakup, moved overseas, or lost a loved one, it can be deeply painful. You might feel shame or guilt for not being upbeat and positive during the "most wonderful time of the year."
The truth is that you're not alone.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is very common. As many as 1 in 5 people are estimated to experience the "holiday blues" - a condition that has been linked to depression, anxiety, anger, loneliness, isolation, avoidance of social situations, overeating, overdrinking, substance abuse or addiction, and even holiday weight gain.
Luckily, if you do have Seasonal Affective Disorder, there are some things you can do to ease the pain:
First, try to determine what is triggering your feelings. Are your family relationships feeling strained? Is there a painful anniversary date that you are (perhaps subconsciously) anticipating this kind of year? Did a loved one pass away on a specifc date? Did your parents divorce this time last year?
Meditate on the reasons behind your feelings...
Your feelings are valid. Try not to push them down or feel guilty or shameful. Instead, try the following meditation:
- Close your eyes and place one hand over your heart
- Take a few deep breaths (inhale for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds)
- With your hand on your heart and your eyes closed, continue breathing deeply and slowly
- As you breathe, pause and consider where your feelings are coming from.Notice what comes to mind.
- If difficult or painful memories or feelings come to the surface, just return to your breath: inhale 4 seconds, exhale 4 seconds. Stay with your breath and allow the feelings to pass.
- Once you've clarified your feelings and can name your triggers, you are empowered to begin your healing process.
After clarifying what's causing your "holiday blues," you can start by surrounding yourself with compassionate people who can empathize with you rather than being critical. I know you might be tempted to shut the world out. Sure, there's a time and a place for staying home, binge-watching Netflix and eating that container of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Your secret is safe with me and I won't judge - but when you're dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder, it may not be an effective coping mechanism.
Instead, you need support from others... perhaps a bit of vitamin D. If it's too cold to go outside, you can get a lamp that mimics the rays of the sun to boost your endorphin levels. You might also consider sitting in the far infrared sauna at Centered, which is great for overcoming (and preventing!) Seasonal Affective Disorder.
If you don't have trusted people in your life that you can be with this time of year, you can search the internet for a "blue holiday" meetup in your area where you can be seen, heard, and understood by others who understand Seasonal Affective Disorder. If your feelings are still overwhelming, you might also consider talking to a certified therapist or LCSW, or discussing your situation with a professional life coach.
Whatever you do, try to get some self-care this holiday season. Schedule time for yourself on your calendar and don't allow yourself to schedule any other meetings or events during this time.
Some self-care ideas might include:
- Far infrared sauna.
- Practicing healthy boundaries (i.e. saying "no" to over-committing yourself)
- Getting enough sleep.
- Eating healthy, balanced meals.
- Planning a weekend getaway (or a staycation).
- Attending a workshop or retreat.
Speaking of workshops and retreats, Centered has a variety of beautiful events this holiday season surrounding the theme of self-care. For a full day of YOU time, clarity and life/business coaching, you're more than welcome to attend my upcoming workshop in Centered's light-filled studio:
Danielle LaPorte's Fire Starter Sessions Workshop
Saturday, January 6th, 2018 at Centered
As a Certified Facilitator of Danielle LaPorte's The Fire Starter Sessions, I'll be leading you through some Desire Mapping and some proven practices for getting "unstuck" so you can show up in your life & your career in BIG, profound, radiant ways.
Get cozy with a cup of hot tea and join our supportive circle of compassionate, soulful people as we work to bring more happiness and fulfillment to our lives, relationships and careers. I can't think of a better way to reflect on 2017, plan for a successful 2018, and enter the New Year with clarity and energy to build the radiant life you've always dreamed of.
How does that sound to you? Click here for more information and registration info.
Want to manifest the life you've been dreaming of? This is the permission slip you've been waiting for...
I hope to see you there.
Love and Light,