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November 27, 2022

Struggling Through the Holidays

Holidays with loved ones are precious. But life is cyclical and when times are challenging, the notion of holiday warmth just adds salt to the wounds of heartbreak, grief, trauma, loneliness, or how unfulfilling your life may be in the moment.

If life is difficult for you right now, I recommend that you make a plan for the holidays ~ even if it is the last thing you feel like doing. It may be tempting to sit home alone, but this will only feed your depression and beliefs that you are unworthy or that life is hard.

Some people like to be alone and enjoy their own company. That is different. If you are looking forward to the quiet of the day, I suggest that you set the table, light new candles, have a centerpiece that makes you smile, and cook a fabulous meal. I have done this in the past and embraced the solitude and opportunity to nurture myself.

If being alone triggers depression, bitterness, isolation or other negative emotions in you, nurture yourself by making a plan. Call a friend to see if you are welcome. My friends and acquaintances never said no to me and not only opened their homes, but insisted I dine with their families. You could invite friends to your house for a meal. This may be a good time to take a trip. Plan something now, so you face the holidays with grace and ease.

And don’t feel guilty. I coached a widow who felt that if she enjoyed the holidays, she would be betraying her husband’s memory. Making plans doesn’t mean you are dishonoring anyone. Finding comfort in the day even though you are heartbroken, grieving, or lonely, means you are fostering a sense of strength and hope to help you through rough times.

The holidays are just a fleeting moment in the span of a lifetime. Some will be great and others difficult, which is a reality we need to embrace. I have beautiful memories of holidays past that fill my heart with love and joy. Understanding the cycle of life has given me a deeper appreciation for any time that I get to spend with people I love.

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Georgette Van Vliet  |  Contribution: 2,860