It is time for holiday cheer because Christmas time, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah are here, right? In a perfect world, we would all be filled with glee and this season would be the most wonderful time of the year. However, if we survey our circle, world circumstances, and our surroundings with a sober perspective, we know the holidays aren’t always full of happiness for everyone, or even ourselves at times.
From the hustle, bustle, and sometimes even the struggle that comes with a commercialized Christmas, to the overwhelming grief families experience and the seasonal depression that is often hidden behind suits and comfy sweater dresses, the same holidays that harvest blessings for some, also contribute to the holiday blues of others. Whether you find yourself experiencing the former or the latter, it is essential to your well-being to remember you can experience your personal “merry” and position yourself to be, and receive, a special blessing this holiday season.
Amplify your cheer intentionally with these two action steps:
1. Choose gratitude as your personal gift
With must-have holiday items vying for the attention of all, it is easy to trade your contentment for a race for more cash in order to gain the shiny objects that have been set before your eyes. It is important to recognize that presents don’t equate the presence of peace in your life. This holiday season, I challenge you to unwrap your personal gift of gratitude, be satisfied with all you have (life, health, family, friends), and free yourself from the pressures of a commercialized time of celebration.
2. Gift your time
Gifts are great, but this year, try giving of yourself. Spend quality time with a loved one. Invest time with your children, parents, or those who are elderly and often forgotten about, and create new memories with them. Volunteer your time with an initiative or organization of your choice. Check in with your friends and family members who are seen as the “strong” ones and offer a word of encouragement. Doing so allows you to express your love and care. Additionally, giving takes the focus off of you and whatever you may be facing. The Bible says it’s better to give than receive. Try it! As you bless others, you will be blessed in the process!
Shake your blues with these two holiday-boosters:
1. Allow yourself to receive the love extended to you
As you may be the generous and life-giving friend or family member in your circle, I’m sure it’s not easy for you to relax and receive, but you must. When your loved ones make an attempt to assist you, give to you, spend time with you, check in on you, or extend a listening ear, embrace their expressions of care; it is good for your spirit and soul. If you are experiencing holiday or everyday blues silently, I encourage you to speak up. Give yourself permission to voice your sentiments with a trusted person. There are loving people you know personally as well as professionals who can help you, but only if they know how you are feeling. Position yourself to receive support and love.
2. Embrace the joy of memories, new moments, and momentum
There are a variety of factors that contribute to holiday blues. Loss, discontentment, conflict and much more. At times you may experience moments of overwhelming emotion, hurt, anger or frustration, and that’s OK. Regardless of the trigger, you must believe that you can overcome and you can walk in joy, peace, and strength!
This holiday season, embrace the memories of who or what it is you cherish. In the midst of your blues, challenge yourself to do something you love and enjoy new moments. Keep dreaming, praying, and hoping. Don’t give up or give in. It is memories and new moments, paired with your determination to burst out of the blues that create momentum so you can experience the cheer you desire, not just for the holiday, but each and every day!
“If you are experiencing holiday or everyday blues silently, I encourage you to speak up. Give yourself permission to voice your sentiments with a trusted person. There are loving people you know personally as well as professionals who can help you, but only if they know how you are feeling. Position yourself to receive support and love.”
Extending you love and wishing you peace and blessings,
(Teresa Renee Hunt is a Pittsburgh-based Life-Strategist, Motivational Speaker, and Book Coach who equips women to live with intention, walk in their power, and package their story and brilliance in a book so they can expand their influence and magnify their impact. Follow her on Facebook by searching “Teresa Renee Hunt” or at teresareneehunt.com.)
by Teresa Renee Hunt, For New Pittsburgh Courier