Not everyone can be a ray of sunshine all the time. As hard as we try to keep our heads up, life always finds a way to throw us a curve ball. The holidays can be really rough for some of us who have lost loved ones or struggle with finances. I should know, it’s my fourth holiday season without one of my best friends, and when someone that close to you passes away, time doesn’t make it hurt any less- but there’s always hope and strength to be found!
“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”- Albus Dumbledore (Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling)
I’ve made a list that I found helped me, and I hope it helps you!
SLEEP! Lack of rest can make even the most cheerful person feel a little blue! Make sure you allow yourself 8 hours of sleep every night! Eat breakfast! They weren’t lying when they said it was the most important meal of the day! And no, just a cup of coffee isn’t breakfast! I recommend a bowl of cereal, whole wheat waffles, or some scrambled eggs with your coffee, of course. Or instead of coffee, a cup of Oolong Tea, which is full of anti-oxidants and has your caffeine perk. Meditate. Everyday. Even if its just for 15 minutes. You can even squeeze that into your lunch break! Green Tea. The holidays mean a rise in your stress levels, and stress instigates colds or even worse, the flu! Substitute coffee and sodas with green tea (which has natural anti-oxidants & healing qualities), and not only feel refreshed, but fight off seasonal bugs! And don’t forget the Vitamin C! Eat healthy! I know how hard it is when clients send baskets of cookies and treats, but if you eat a healthy lunch and dinner with fresh vegetables, grains, etc., having one of Mrs. Smith’s triple fudge brownie bites won’t come with such a self-loathing/guilt fest after! Get organized! Go to the dollar store and pick up one of those little date book/organizers. Its easy to get overwhelmed when you can’t remember everything you need to do or when you wrote it down on the calendar on your refrigerator…35 miles away at home. Get out there and do stuff! Don’t sit around and wait for John & Jane Doe to call Friday night! Call up a friend or family member and catch a movie! Keep active! Think positive! Don’t focus on the negatives, the what if’s or could have’s. It has been proven that your brain downloads these negative thoughts and feelings and manifests them physically. So any time you catch yourself focusing on who or what you don’t have, focus on who and what you DO have. Focus on what makes you happy, on love and light. Help someone else! Volunteer at a soup kitchen or help make sandwiches and give them out on a Midnight Run to the homeless. Sing holiday songs to the eldery at nursing homes or visit children in the hospital. There are many organizations that can help you find these opportunites listed below. And finally, TALK. Talk to someone you trust about something that’s got you down. Vent or rant, as I call it, about something you’re upset about. Its not healthy to hold it all in! Its ok to cry on someone’s shoulder. You’re never to old to talk it out!
I hope these tips help you as they have helped me. Have a very merry winter and a beautiful holiday season!
NYC Coalition Against Hunger- Volunteer