It’s three days before Christmas. The last work day. Kids will be home from school and adult children arriving home. Presents are wrapped. Anticipation and excitement mounts as feelings are warm and cozy all over the place.
In a week to ten days, the gifts will be put away, the decorations stored away, kids will be fighting and the going back to work dread will be setting in. Another holiday down, another year down, and we’ll be looking at what chaos 2018 will bring, or you’ll be stressed at all the resolutions you’re supposed to reach but know you won’t.
The holidays bring angst and depression to a lot of people, but so does the time after the holidays. If you’re sitting with an empty heart or dreadful spirit in post-Christmas season, here are five ways to manage the feelings:
- Do a reality check. December 25 and January 1 are ordinary days just like March 18 or July 25. What’s special about these days? Nothing. They are days which are equally important than any other days.
- Every day you live is important. Every day has the same possibilities as the day before it or after it. If you live to be 85, some of your best life experiences will be on non-holidays and most likely unplanned. So seize the day, every day, not just December 25.
- Love well. Gifts should not define your love for those most important to you, though they are one expression of caring. The greatest gifts we give cost nothing–words of affirmation, care, and encouragement. Time with someone, a text, phone call, or simply the words I Love You are essentially needed by others 365 days of the year.
- Balance social media with real people, real surroundings, and quiet. Social media adds stress and subliminal messages that soak into our psyche. Limit your time on all social media channels and enjoy the things around you–people you love, work with, the nature around you, and things you enjoy that you can touch, feel, and engage with your senses.
- Deal with ongoing issues. If Christmas was a distracting joy for you but the other 364 days bring ongoing dread, anxiety, sadness, or depression, don’t settle for drudging through life “as is” or self-medicate through a variety of unhealthy behaviors. Seek professional help or begin by talking to a trusted friend. Or perhaps you need to assess where you are if you just feel stuck. This is where coaching is helpful. Perhaps you don’t feel depressed or anxious, just stuck in thought patterns, the routine of life, and need a new perspective or are ready to move forward but you’re not sure where or how to get there. If this sounds like you, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation phone call on what coaching looks like to help you get from “here” to “there.”
The after Christmas let down doesn’t have to be a problem. Step back, take stock and perspective, and walk into each day with all the possibility and joy it’s capable of.