As an advocate for all things Christmas, I take pleasure in all the joys that the holiday season brings. I focus on the shiny packages rather than the backache I get every year from wrapping them all at once. I enjoy the laughter and smiles around the table rather than dwelling on the hours of preparation and clean up. Focusing on the positive, intending to enjoy the holidays, these things are what make Christmas a wonderful time of the year.
Of course, none of our lives are perfect. Sometimes the everyday stresses creep in; sometimes holiday stresses creep in. Sometimes simply the after-Christmas-let-down, when all the hustle-and-bustle is over, creeps in. These 'creeps' threaten to overshadow an otherwise joyful holiday. Being aware of the creeps will help to deter them. Also, consciously relaxing your body and your mind will help as well. A good way to do this is to carve out some time for yourself. A nice relaxing bubble bath after a busy day, a massage, meditating, reading uplifting material, listening to soft music, slowing down and taking a few moments to enjoy the wonders of nature, by-passing high stress level activities, all these can make for a more joyful holiday season. Something as simple as ordering a cake for your holiday gathering rather than making one yourself may help.
Still, there are often circumstances that are beyond our control. Maybe this is your first holiday alone, the first where your kids are no longer with you, the first after your divorce, the first after the death of a spouse, a parent, or a friend. Simply factoring in some 'me-time' may help but certainly will not erase the pain you feel, the loss, the emptiness.
I don't have all the answers; I don't have the 'cure' for the pain. What I do have is from my own experience. What I do have, I'll give to you with a hope that it helps. For me, writing down my thoughts and feelings helps. Spending time with a close friend helps. Talking to a professional counselor helps. Baring your soul to God helps. Making the holidays a happy time for others helps; even if you don't feel like it, even if you don't feel you have the time, doing something for others will bless you. Trust me on this.
There's no 'quick fix' for heartbreak or heartache. However, with time, the pain will ease. And concentrating on helping others, as well as taking positive steps to helping yourself, will aid in easing the pain.
This holiday season may be bittersweet for you. Next holiday season may be as well. Just hang in there, move forward little by little, and you'll find the future can be filled with joys you've experienced in Christmases past. I know.
Wishing you a blessed holiday season,