~How do you feel when you are with this person?
~Do you feel any tension in your body when you spend time with this person?
~How is your mood when you are with this person?
~How do you feel about yourself when you’re in this person’s company?
If you experience negative feelings, experience tension in your body when you’re with someone, and feel poorly about yourself, this is not a supportive person! Find someone you feel comfortable around and whose company helps you feel better about yourself.
Invite yourself to a gathering hosted by someone you feel good being around, someone you know will welcome you with open arms. There’s no law that says you have to spend holidays with unsupportive family. If there’s no one in your life that you feel good around, don’t fret. There’s you! Spend a night alone pampering yourself. It’s o.k. to be sad if you need to. You may want to light a candle, feed yourself comfort foods, journal your feelings, or cuddle under the warm covers watching old movies. Or, you can empower yourself to start a new holiday ritual. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, ask a neighbor to go Christmas caroling down your block, write thank you notes or emails to everyone who has been helpful, generous or kind throughout the year. Make angels in the snow: use your creativity to find an activity that feels good.
If you don’t have the energy to make use of any of the above suggestions or you’re experiencing extreme depression, it’s time to ask for help. Not every holiday is a happy one, but if you try any of the above suggestions, you can have a peaceful one. May your holidays be the beginning of a healing journey and I wish you a blessed new year.
© Copyright 2010 by Felice Block, MA, LCPC, therapist in Long Grove, Illinois. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org. Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.