I both love and hate this time of year. In fact, I kind of have a little mental score-card for the “holiday season.” It goes like this:
- Beautiful lights and decorations
- Cheerful warm houses
- Time with family and friends
- Random gifts of chocolate and cookies
- Gifts in general
- People hang beautiful lights because it’s dark and dreary and disgusting out
- Ditto the warm houses
- Annoying family and friends anyone?
- Having to remember to buy gifts and bake cookies
- Spending too much money on gifts
- Boring or overwhelming parties
- Kids being off schedule and grumpy with vacation
Most of the time, I am more of a “Pros” list kind of person. I ignore the dark, and enjoy the light. But I think we all have those moments, when we didn’t get enough sleep, or the kids are whiny, or there’s just a little too much work before vacation starts, when all we can see is the cons list.
This blog post is about recognizing that it’s human to have moments when things feel bad. It’s ok to feel anxious, sad, or overwhelmed at times. The key to managing those moments is recognizing that they pass. Feeling don’t last forever. If we tolerate negative emotions and still engage in positive actions the positive replaces the negative over time. For example, if you’re socially anxious and go to a holiday party, the first twenty minutes will probably be excruciating, but if you wait it out there is a good chance that your anxiety will fade and you’ll start to have fun. Maybe you’re annoyed because the kids are grumpy. If you tolerate your annoyance without expressing anger and take a positive action by getting everyone to bed early, the next day will go much better. Often, just knowing that things are temporary is enough to help you get from a tough moment to a positive one.
Wishing you a light-filled holiday season, and reminding you that even if today isn’t great, there’s always tomorrow,