I wanted to take a moment to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I hope that this time treats you well. I also, though, want to take a moment to recognize those who are struggling during this time of year. Unfortunately, "the most wonderful time of the year" does not always ring true.
I did not just want to ignore the fact that in sending out a jolly newsletter, that there are many who are hurting. Maybe it is because you have recently had a failed marriage, have tough family relationships, or you recently lost a loved one. I know it sometimes feels lonely, as everyone else is cheery and bright. Therefore, it doesn't feel safe to go against the grain to admit that you may not be feeling those same happy feelings. These life events can put a pretty big damper on the holidays and I want to take the time to acknowledge that. Just know that you are not alone and there are people who care that you are hurting.
Please just know. It is okay that you are feeling this way. You do not have to hide your feelings, just because happiness is somewhat of the status quo this time of year.
So how do you prepare for this difficult time of the year?
1. Figure out what you need.
What is it that will help you in this difficult time? Maybe you can take some time to write a letter to your loved one before you go to someone's house for the holiday. Maybe you just need to give yourself permission to have time to reflect before going over to someone's house. Your instinct may just be to avoid everyone all together, as isolating is easiest when your feeling down. But isolation often makes us feel worse. We end up feeling even more alone and this can double up on the pain.
2. Take care of yourself
It can sometimes be difficult to be around really happy people when you are feeling down. Do what you need to feel like you are acknowledging your feelings. Maybe you share with someone that you are feeling down and that it is difficult for you to be around everyone. Maybe you go outside and take a deep breath and possibly even shed a few tears. Maybe you treat yourself to something you wouldn't normally. It does not have to be big, but just something to acknowledge yourself.
3. Love yourself
The easiest thing to do during a difficult time is to become your worst enemy and start to tear yourself down or "should" on yourself. Maybe you think you "should" be feeling or acting differently. I encourage you to just allow yourself to be. It is important to remember that no one knows and understands what you are going through more than you. Give yourself permission to allow yourself some grace and love. Nurture yourself during this hard time and let others love on you as well.
Most of all, you are not alone. Know that you are loved and cared about.