When Your Holidays Will Never Be The Same Again
By Dr.Nancy on December 12, 2012
When Your Holidays Will Never Be The Same Again
Are you facing the season with dread this year because some event has changed your holidays forever? Perhaps the loss of a loved one has left a large hole in your family portrait, or the loss of a home has removed the setting that gave you all such security. Or perhaps, like me, you have recently gone through a divorce.
A single devastating event can change every holiday, birthday, vacation and special event for the rest of your life. It has certainly changed mine. Through my own choice I live in a different house; I have different pets; I have a lot of new friends; and I have intentionally added a lot of new things to my life. I know that no matter how hard I try I will not be able to re-create the pre-divorce holidays with my children and grandchildren.
I think my kids will try and they will try especially hard for their kids. I wish I could make that part go away for sure. I cannot change any of this and now I must make the best of an awkward and very sad time of change. We’re all working hard to re-position all the parts, the players, and the plan itself.
Create A New Normal Holiday Tradition
A part of me says, “Let’s not play at all,” but I just cannot do that. Instead, I think I will go big, bigger than ever, more lights, more decorations, more parties, more presents, and more of anything I can think of. I’m going to create a “new normal holidays” and it’s going to be fun. My new pets will be decked out in reindeer suits made specifically for them. I will paint their doggie toenails red and maybe even dye their hair and put some red streaks in it. What do you think? Whatever I can think of is on the list.
How Do I Handle a Holiday When Change Keeps Overwhelming My Life?
What about you? Do you feel ready to handle a holiday transformed by changes in your life? Change seems to be the ongoing scenario for many of us. How will you cope?
I have a few small tips for making a new normal holiday season that you can truly enjoy.
10 Strength-Building Tips for Surviving the Holidays
- Take care of you. Nobody else is going to do it.
- Don’t overeat and over drink. You will just feel fat and have a bad headache
- Don’t get into poor me. We all know what it means to grieve a loss and want it to be different, but it is what it is.
- Do things early. Don’t put off making whatever plans you want to make: call people, arrange parties, set dates and organize activities. If you want to alone, I promise you will be if you do not reach out and connect with friends and family.
- Do something different. Do not try to re-create what you had or did in the past. Instead, mix it up! Go on a trip, a cruise or make a different plan so you will not be so aware of what you have lost. Stretch your mind and heat into some new space and make the day yours.
- Stay away from negative, “Bah, humbug” people. Misery DOES love company and they will try to bring you down, but don’t join in. Find upbeat, positive people and choose to spend time with people who love you.
- Get out and help someone else! Ring that bell, serve that food or deliver those meals. Reach out to help someone else. If you look outside yourself you can always find someone sadder and more alone than you. Helping them will make you grateful for your challenges and opportunities.
- Invent a new you: change your hairstyle, rework your makeup or grooming and put together a new style of dressing. Ask a friend to help you mix it up and come up with a new look. While you are at it, change some habits, especially that routine that has gotten a little boring. All these things can put new zest in your life.
- You may hate this one, but do it anyway. Exercise! Do something that gets your heart pumping and makes you breathe hard: Zumba, yoga, Pilates, walking, jogging or just run around in your front room. I always feel better when I exercise and you will, too.
- Rediscover your sense of humor. It’s the best antidote to self-pity and regret. Laugh at yourself and your imperfect ways and let yourself act silly. People love to be around a funny person.
Throughout it all remember to be nice to yourself. You deserve a medal for getting through the trauma, whether from divorce, death, job loss, a health problem, or some other painful change. Follow my 10-Step plan and this holiday season may just turn out to better than you ever expected. I hope to follow this plan myself.
Send me a note from womenspeak.com or Facebook and we can get through the holidays together. Happy holidays. Really!
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