Your holiday reds...and blues

I mentioned in this week's newsletter (subscribe here) that the holidays can be an especially difficult time of year to manage societal and familial expectations, on top of sometimes feeling the holiday blues. There's so much emphasis on consumption (Starbucks gingerbread is one of my favorite seasonal treats) and comparison ("are their lights better than ours?") that we can lose track of what's really important. Your definition is unique to you but hopefully somewhere in yours you're including you.

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With all the holiday reds, gold, silver and glitter, there can sometimes be several shades of blue too. Those blues can be different feelings of grief, as they are for me, since this will be the first year that I won't have my mother. Her usual holiday card isn't coming. All of this makes me incredibly sad, in spite of the joy around me. Maybe for you the holiday blues will come up as anxiety amping up or your struggles with depression rearing its unruly head even more than usual. It's normal to feel overwhelmed and sad at times when we "should" be feeling something else or when "no one else" seems to be upset or having a hard time. 

Whatever the blues look like for you (and maybe they aren't there at all which is wonderful!), be good to yourself. Treat yourself with the same kid gloves of love that you use with families, children and partners. Take time over break to be tender to yourself. Hot baths, deep breathes, lazy days in yoga pants. Whatever floats your boat, do it. You are the only you we have. 

Work, church, neighborhood potlucks, even sales at the mall will always be there, with or without you. But everything is better with you. Take good care.

~~Note: Following my own advice, I've decided to take next week off from a blog post. Watch this space (or your inbox) for the next post on January 5. My weekly newsletter will not be on hiatus though so if you need a fix, make sure you subscribe to it. You can do that here.

Posted on December 22, 2015 and filed under Self-care, Mental Health.