Five Steps to Find Joy When You're Alone For The Holidays
Beverly D. Flaxington, The Human Behavior Coach™, is a two-time bestselling and gold-award winning author. She is a corporate consultant and trainer, executive coach, successful entrepreneur, hypnotherapist and hypnosis trainer, college professor, motivational public speaker, and a certified behavioral-and-values analyst. Her work has been featured in hundreds of media outlets including, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com, Reader's Digest, USA Today, and many others. She is also devoted to animal rescue and currently has eleven pets of her own in addition to multiple fosters. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and three children.
Alone For The Holidays; Five Steps To Finding Joy
The holidays are a time for togetherness, good cheer, counting blessings and being surrounded by those we love. Unfortunately, that’s not the story for many people. Maybe you just moved to a new city and your dog is the only ‘person’ you know. Maybe work has you traveling out of town. But there are some have lost loved ones through death, mental illness, incapacitation or divorce. Some have loved ones fighting overseas during the holidays. Some are estranged and don’t see their family holidays at all.
Is it possible to find happiness during the holidays when the Norman Rockwell painting does not fit your situation? Yes. How we feel is more often a choice then we’d like to admit. We talk to ourselves about what’s wrong, what’s missing, what’s negative and what’s never going to change. We ruminate over the emptiness and miss out on the abundance when we could be making different choices. This year, if you are suffering from loss of any kind, you can shift your mindset and your attitude just a bit to have a different holiday experience. Instead of dread, turn to powerful steps that can work for your life.
The following five steps can help you create your own, more positive, holiday experience irrespective of your situation:
- Take care in where you go, who you interact with, and what you do. If going to the mall and seeing the shoppers happily making their purchases is depressing to you, don’t go. If sitting home alone makes you eat things that aren’t good for you, find someone to go out with!
- Know what triggers you and makes you unhappy and depressed. Identify those things and then deliberately make different choices.Spend time around those who are truly needy. Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Shop for underprivileged children. Make a craft or buy flowers and deliver them to a home-bound elderly person.
- Spend a bit of time in a nursing home talking to those without family. Giving of your time and attention to those who are in difficult life situations can help focus your attention away from yourself.Watch your self-talk. When you catch yourself talking about how lonely you are, how much you miss the person, how terrible your circumstances are, put up a mental “STOP!” sign. Instead of ruminating and allowing your mind to talk to you about how it’s never going to change and how terrible your life is, put a stop to those thoughts.
- Replace them with something positive. Find a poem, a prayer, a line from a song that cheers you. Turn your attention and your mind to those things and away from the sad or depressing themes.If you are physically able to, get some exercise. Even just walking up and down the stairs or taking a walk outside can be beneficial. Change your position, and your scenery and your attitude changes.
- Listen to uplifting music. Music changes your mood. Choose something that inspires or gets you moving. Give yourself permission to sing as loud as you want along with the music, too!
You may think it is hard to fully enjoy the holidays, but even if you try one of these things and can make some different choices for your situation, you may find just a little enjoyment you weren’t expecting.
For more from Beverly, check out her website.