How to Get Up When Holidays Get You Down

Don’t let the holidays get you down. First and foremost…

1. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

eve-1071356_640DON’T
drink too much
eat too much
spend too much
be a couch potato

DO
eat natural, healthy foods vegetable-1085065_640
drink lots of water
get enough sleep
walk, exercise
spend time outdoors

The sedentary nature of much of modern life probably plays a significant role in the epidemic incidence of depression today. Many studies show that depressed patients who stick to a regimen of aerobic exercise improve as much as those treated with medicationAndrew Weil

2. EXPRESS YOUR FEELINGS

When you hold your breath, eat when you’re not hungry, drink too much or distract yourself in some way from what you’re feeling, you are repressing energy…It is temporarily out of sight but not out of mind. In spite of best efforts to keep it hidden, repressed energy leaks out into our bodies, feelings and behavior. From Healing Feelingsgiraffes-627031_640

Acknowledge how you feel without judging yourself. Talking or writing about our feelings is a catharsis. It releases pent up energy. If emotional pain is severe, seek professional help.

3. SMILE AND LAUGH

Psychologist Paul Ekman who extensively studied faces said, “What we discovered is that expression alone is sufficient to create marked changes in the autonomic nervous system.” The look on your face has a direct effect on your body! Smiling sends a message to your brain and body that everything is good. You immediately start to feel better…As the subconscious gets the message that all is well, your outlook and behavior are affected. From Make the Best of the Rest of Your Life

LAUGHTER…

Produces endorphins that counter stress
Boosts the immune system
Relieves pain
Increases blood flow
Stimulates the brain and aids memory
Improves mood and raises self-confidence
Transcends logic and negative thinking
Overcomes feelings of fear, isolation, depression, anger
Creates a bond between people
Expands awareness and perception

Warning: Humor may be hazardous to your illness. Ellie Katz

lol-706869_640Watch sitcoms and funny movies. Enjoy a laugh out loud book over the holidays like The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.

4. EXTEND YOURSELF

Put your focus on others. Brighten someone’s day. Express gratitude to friends and family. Participate. Go to community and church gatherings. Volunteer. Take gifts to people in nursing homes or shelters. Adopt a pet. Be a secret Santa.

flower-22656_640

For more ideas: 
Volunteer opportunities
Best & Worst Organizations for Donations

Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

5. CREATE A RITUAL

Replace the holiday season as it is generally perceived with something meaningful for you. Make it a time of personal retreat, cleansing of body or home. Design your own spiritual retreat. Read, listen to music,  meditation tapes. Do a detox diet. If you are alone at Christmas, stone-984483_640make it a time to celebrate you. Buy yourself gifts. If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, create a ritual to celebrate that person’s memory. Write letters to the spirit of the deceased expressing your love and appreciation.

6. CHANGE YOUR PAST 

Memories of unhappy holidays in the past can overshadow the present. We then blame the holidays for creating the pain but they are not the cause. They merely resonate memories and pain we are already holding. For that, we should actually be grateful. It is an opportunity for emotional healing.

Memories are not facts. They change depending upon the state of mind we are in at the present moment. If we look at the past through a different filter, our memories change. Painful memories can be transformed by looking through the eyes of forgiveness.

BookCoverImageFrom Healing FeelingsWhen you change your mind, you change your past. When you change your past, you change its effect on the present. You no longer carry the resentment or anger or guilt or fear that the previous images of the past engendered so you also change your future. To forgive is to forget because your past experience is transformed into something else entirely. 

We can change the past by changing the way we perceive it. Look at a negative memory from a different angle. What did you learn? How can you use it to grow, become stronger, wiser?

7. SET A GOAL 

glasses-272399_640Set goals for the holidays. Use the time to learn and grow. Binge on TED Talks. Read a good book. Do something you’ve never done before. Find a new interest. Take up a hobby. Cook a special recipe. Write a short story. Take music lessons. Start learning another language. Goals & Motivation

collage-190747_640Make a collage of inspiring pictures or quotes… 

Successful people maintain a positive focus in life not matt
er what is going on around them. Jack Canfield

Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into visible. Tony Robbins

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. Oprah Winfrey

Your goals are the road maps that guide you and show you what is possible for your life. Les Brown

Are the holidays a challenge for you? Don’t close your eyes, shut down and hope they’ll pass quickly. Determine to look at them differently. Just the willingness to embrace the challenge holidays hold for you will make you feel better. 

My Holiday Wish For You…

Love in Your Heart
Peace in Your Mind

Meaning in Your Life

Want to Open Your Mind and Heart? Think on These Things

1. This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. William Shakespeare

2. Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways. Sigmund Freud

3. Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured. Mark Twain

heart-1043245_6404. Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. C.G. Jung

5. The human body is the best picture of the human soul. Ludwig Wittgenstein

6. If a person is to get the meaning of life he must learn to like the facts about himself — ugly as they may seem to his sentimental vanity — before he can learn the truth behind the facts.  Eugene O’Neill

7. What we are thuman-746931_640oday comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind. Buddha

8. As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul.  Hermes Trismegistus

9. The past, like the future, is indefinite and exists only as a spectrum of possibilities. Stephen Hawking

 10. There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you. J.K. Rowling

11. We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King, Jr.mind-767584_640

12. Rather than being your thoughts and emotion, Be the awareness behind them. Eckhart Tolle

13. If the only prayer you ever say is Thank you, that is enough.Meister Eckhart

14. You empower what you fight. You withdraw power from what you release. Alan Cohen

15. When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness. Joseph Campbell

16. As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal. Robin S. Sharma                                                                      

17. The True Self is not our creation, but God’s. It is the self we are in our depths. It is our capacity for divinity and transcendence. Sue Monk Kidd

Quotes excerpted from Healing Feelings