In a world of made for tv movies, Instagram perfection and Pinterest awesomeness the pressure for perfection at the holidays can stir anxiety and deepen depression. Chronic and lasting depression can be aggravated more by unrealistic expectations of Currier and Ives snow capped perfection. Christmas lists in a time of pandemic displacement can increase pressure as well.
Its Your Vision
We live in a world of celebrity and wealthy excesses, but the balance of the country is trying to keep food and shelter in place. Measuring your holiday against Hollywood production teams is unhealthy and unrealistic. It misses the point.
Gathering together with the people you love will be challenging as the pandemic rages on. You are making a choice about this year over many years to come. This season, no matter how you celebrate is about hope, renewal, and miracles.
Help is within your Reach
Counseling and therapy are important elements of managing chronic depression as well as seasonal depression. This is a significant condition. Please reach out. If you are feeling overwhelmed, suicidal, or self-hurting please do not wait just reach out to a trained counselor, a clinician, or a Mental Health Professional. This can be challenging to navigate in the midst of the psychological, physiological, and emotional events that depression can lead to. Online and on demand counseling makes it safe, comfortable, and manageable even on dark days.
Invest in yourself, your self-care, and your self-love. Develop a personal strategy in conjunction with your therapist, visualize how you want to spend the holidays. Visualize what would make you happy. Not what the tradition dictates, or what Hollywood and Instagram conjures up. But what makes you happy. Is it baking cookies on Christmas Eve? Driving around to see the lights. Is it curling up in pjs on the couch with a binge watch party with your favorite pet? Cozy, comfy and warm are important. Glitzy, pricey and blingy are not. Stressing over a carb laden mega-meal will do no one good. Finding food that feeds your soul without raising your stress level is healthier, less anxiety ridden and will restore you rather than unraveling you.
Dream a Wonderful Day
The process of visualizing what you want has been successfully used by athletes and Olympians; in business and in the daily life of many. Calm, centered thinking about how you want to feel, and smell, and eat and hear will help you create the dream day that YOU need. We celebrate winter holidays in many ways in a range of cultures, it is all about triumphs, overcoming the odds, surviving, and thriving. So, throw out the Rockefeller Square vision and the celebrity special ideas. Plan a day that makes you feel warm, special, and loved. If that is a warm blanket, a good book and your favorite pet, great. If that is the people in your bubble playing board games and gigging, great. If that is working at a soup kitchen, fabulous. Dream what you want, visualize how that feels and smells. Center your spirit and make it come true. Be grateful for what remains, for what endures and for what is to come. Keep a kind and gentle spirit; laugh, love, sing and dance in the glory of your vision.