When Holidays Are Less Than Perfect: Tips for Surviving Them

For the promises of happiness that come with most holiday seasons, the reality is that for many people the holidays are not a time of togetherness or celebration. It is instead a time filled with memories of lost loved ones, a time for exaggerated emphasis on disappointments and on dreams left unfulfilled.

By getting out of the non-productive cycle of negativity, a sense of joy and harmony can be created year round, not just wished for during a couple elusive weeks. Here are a few “mindful” tips intended to overcome some of unhealthy feelings that may have been churned up:

Practice Acceptance – a journey towards acceptance starts with the realization that you cannot change others, or certain situations, but that you do have the ability to change what concerns your own life.

Joyfulness – Realize that you are unique, and hold tightly to your own unique capabilities and gifts. You have the ability to enrich your own life and that of others through your own specific talents, no matter what they may be.

Discovery – Understanding our own personal history and who we are deep inside is a primary step in understanding who we are and respecting that person.

Surrender – This is another way of saying what we rely upon or turn to continually for peace of mind or happiness. The question then turns to what we have truly given ourselves over to. Will it create a solid foundation for us, or is it something that is hurtful, unhealthy and is not a long term solution?

Faith – Having faith that any situation is not so bad that it can’;t be overcome and coped with is an important belief to always keep within us. This may involve the belief in a higher power or it might include the love of friends and family. Embracing that love and the possibility of that love is an ongoing process.

The process of achieving a balance and cultivating happiness is an ongoing one. No treatment program or New Year’;s resolution is complete, however, without acknowledging individual struggles and problems and mapping out a solution to dealing with them. And after the plan is made, then comes the process of making the necessary changes to create a life you are happy with and one that you deserve.

Another thing to remember is that you are not alone. Many people report feeling lonely, depressed and isolated during the holiday season. The media, with all of its overblown expressions of perfect people, foods, trips and family togetherness doesn’;t help. Sometimes turning off the TV, or not going near Face Book where others have posted idealized photos of their lives, often, can help.

One very important concept to open the New Year with is to realize that you don’;t need to keep doing what you are doing, feeling what you are feeling. The key to the season, a new year, and to approaching every new day is to believe that you can change what you want to and that you have the resources within yourself to step forward into a more satisfying way of living.

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