For some of us, the holidays are a time of painful memories and depression. We tend to go within and are so consumed with our own misery that we end up in this spiraling cycle of sadness and anger during the holidays.
Change your focus and pull yourself out of the misery. Bringing a smile to someone else will bring a smile to your face and will make your heart happy.
Yes, some or even all of these, you have probably heard before but have you tried them? Have you done any of them during the holiday season?
1. Volunteering – You often hear that people should volunteer during the holidays but how many people actually do it? There are many volunteer opportunities including vacations you can take that are volunteer based.
2. Can food drive – telling all of your friends and family that you are collecting canned foods to donate to (insert your favorite charity)
3. Do you know how to crochet or knit? Make soft, bright and playful baby/child blankets for those stuck in the hospital during the holiday season. Contact your local yarn shop and see if they already have a group working on this that you can join to help out or create a group of your own.
4. Visit a senior home and offer to read aloud to those that can’t see well enough to read on their own anymore.
5. Call a senior home and ask if there is anything that some of the seniors need or want that you could purchase for them.
6. Making holiday cards with a coupon offering your help for something specific, grocery shopping, raking leaves, offering to drive them for their errands, taking them to lunch, baking cookies/cupcakes for a busy mom for her child’s school birthday party or other event, offering to babysit so the mom can have some time for herself or for her and her partner, offer some other talent or service that you are either good at or enjoy doing.
7. Writing happiness (or other such as empowering, compassionate, etc.) quotes on three by five cards and hand them out to people you see could use a pick me up.
8. Writing poetry for yourself and for others.
Bringing happiness to others goes a long way to bringing happiness to yourself.
If you are home bound and can’t get out:
1. Creating postcards with the happiness quotes etc., mailing them to random people in the phone book (yes there are still phone books out there), mail out one to three a day.
2. Invite your neighbors over for tea and cookies to get to know them better and spread a little holiday cheer.
Or… invite your neighbors over for a potluck asking everyone to bring their favorite dish. You can even ask everyone to bring one to three items that are still in good condition but they would like to find a new home for to do a holiday exchange. Everyone can pick a number from a hat and the first number gets to pick first and so on.
If you can’t seem to change your focus, change your energy – walk, dance, move your body. Movement helps to transform how we feel about ourselves and how we feel about others.
If you are someone that normally does for others on a regular basis and rarely do things for yourself…
Take the time to pamper yourself.
- Take a bubbly, scented bath.
- Get your nails done, even if it is just a manicure (or get a pedicure).
- Treat yourself to your favorite cheese, wine, and bread. Oh and of course, chocolate.
- Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers.
- Pay (or barter) someone to clean your house.
- Get a massage.
- Treat yourself to a weekend away with all of the above pampering or whatever else will feel good to you and make you smile.
If you are having trouble reaching out or fear stops you from trying any of these things, you can use poetry to help transform your feelings, to get your feelings onto the page.
For those that have been hurt (who hasn’t but some of us internalize it to the extent that you may be afraid to put yourself out there or have shoved your feelings so deep inside you don’t have a clue how you feel.
How do I feel…
How do I feel about…
When I think of ____ I feel…
The thought of putting myself out there makes me feel…
Or just write whatever you are thinking about and keep writing until there are no words left. At some point you will not only have all your feelings down, but you will get sick of focusing only on yourself and you will want to find a way to help others and in doing so help yourself.
Morgan Dragonwillow: Writing rebel, stress relief explorer, recovering perfectionist, cooking as therapy, poet & author that (mostly) doesn’t let her fears get in the way of her passion for writing and creating. She is team leader at @StoryDam, creatrix of #OctPoWriMo, and you can find her at, A Poet’s Kitchen, cooking up simply delicious meals. She lives in Marietta, Ga. with her loving and patient partner, their dog that thinks she’s a princess, and the cat that reminds her that she isn’t.Find her on Google+
“Sometimes poets write what we wish we could say, and they tell us what we need to know. The poems in Wild Woman Waking lead us to a place where we can proudly refuse to be “bent and broken”; instead, they document a journey to self-acceptance, peace, and understanding – where in a community of women, we celebrate and dance as Mud Women. We become women of spirit and keepers of our own keys.” ~Beth Camp
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