Sunday, October 4, 2015


The holidays magnify our emotions.  Are you a holiday hater or a holiday lover?   

Did you know that your emotions, hormones, and mental processing of the seasonal shifts and changes are a life LINK in your journey you can alter?  

First, let’s start with acknowledging that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is REAL. 

It’s not just winter depression/blues, either.  All the seasons can trigger a depression or a mood disorder, even though SAD is usually affiliated with winter or summertime blues. 

While not everyone experiences SAD, there are spin-offs of it which are mood triggered based on your pre-existing life LINKS.  Past trauma or childhood memories affiliated with the holidays or cross-association with an event or tragedy is always hard.  This is real, too.  But there are ways to support yourself during a season which is really challenging or difficult to get through. 

Some people who experience death, divorce, natural disaster, accident or other kind of unpleasant anniversary during the holiday time psychologically see the calendar event and the holiday season itself in the same breath. This is always hard, and many people like to ‘pacify’ the experience saying ‘time will heal,’ because they don’t know what else to say. Those on the other side of it who are watching the clock wonder ‘when’ time will heal that wound.  

Does time heal? Time will never lessen the magnitude of the pain or wound, but it can with time as YOU gain more insight to how you handle the season each year (which comes whether you like it or not – like clockwork) and THIS is the LINK that can be altered.  

You know the calendar.  You know the date is coming and you have the power to prepare yourself in a cocoon of comfort, preventative tail-spin mind chaos and start to do what you can for internal peacemaking as time goes on. This is SOUL work taking on HUMAN tasks to begin to cradle the soul in safe nurturing of breathing and getting through the emotional Tsunami. 

  • Take time for yourself each day (10 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at night).  Journal, meditate, feel your feelings and express them.  Don’t block them. Really feel them. This is like emotional purging, getting the toxins out. 
  •  Write or call friends or loved ones and keep communication open.
  •  Exercise – even a 10 minute walk is better than nothing.  Keep the endorphin energy positive.
  •  Get sleep. You’re tired of hearing this. But even though we change the clocks and Fall back, you really don’t end up gaining an hour of sleep if you’re using it to do all the rest of the holiday nonsense still neglecting yourself adding even more stress to your plate.  You need sleep more than ever – heck, even animals in the wild hibernate and they have a lot more to worry about than you do in terms of survival! 

  • Take your B vitamins. B vitamins handle stress.  What more stressful time is there than the holidays?  Do it.  You’ll keep in emotional balance by doing this.

  • Keep uplifting music on wherever you go. Stay away from sappy ballads. Save those for when you are at home and need to do emotional purging.  The rest of the time use positive music as your survival tool when you have to brave the world and encounter negativity triggers.   

  • Stay in touch with any professional help you are currently doing.  There are plenty of free resources in your local directory for support.  Don't be afraid to use those.

For the average human operating from a human place and not a soul place hating the holidays -  the holidays mostly represent ego inconvenience.  This is usually what goes on in their brain:

“I hate holiday … (shopping, traffic, crowds, music, parking, office parties, get-togethers, family drama, being single, spending money, silly traditions, hideous sweaters, fattening food, decorating, weather, travel, obligations, hassles, flu-germ-filled planes)."

Notice how everything wraps around someone having to adapt, adjust, switch from regular habitual daily living - to a season, which shifts multiple things into an experience of out-of-the-everyday-norm.  However, also notice that it is the holiday season, which magnifies things you rarely think about during other times of the year to the degree you get depressed during this time.

Is there something you need to look at?  YES.

Now ask yourself, if maybe a little of the human holiday hatred vibe comes from the feeling of being bombarded or forced into change…. Change that is not on the same page as your page (you have different wishes) or change that takes you out of your habitual comfort zone of getting through life.  Are the holidays one big pile of (you fill in the blank)?  

If your soul hates the holidays due to the traumatic event affiliation or your human hates the ego-bullying convention affiliation – your LINKS can be shifted into a place of serenity to ride upon during the season by getting help. Additionally, your own personal daily maintenance of emotional and mental balance is key as a preventative for the surge if imbalance brought on by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). 

Pain and loneliness is isolated within both the human and the soul.  Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is merely ONE mood component upon season change.  

What about the rest of the year?  Do you find that this mood thing isn’t as bad?  

The rest of the year it is mental and emotional health. This is a real thing as well and perhaps should be examined as something to take care of on a regular basis so that when the holidays come around, this magnification doesn’t get out of hand.

The problem with the holidays is that when ‘there is so much to do’ with all the season brings, people start to neglect themselves and their mental and emotional health.  The overload becomes too overbearing and hormones, chemicals in the brain, added stress and less sleep not only make people’s immunity go down and invite sickness, but much more than that.

Aside from the seasonal cold/flu – your body is telling you that you’ve started to neglect what you do the rest of the year to maintain your own well-being.  

A date on the calendar is just that – a date on the calendar.  The rest of the year you have to deal with all the same stuff, but you’re able to get a handle on your moods and emotions a bit better because you don’t have all the added stress and unwelcomed holiday cheer thrown in your face to remind you of how miserable you are.  Each day you do what you need to do to handle your own imbalances.  The holiday season you throw them out the window using the crutch “It’s the holidays….’

Holiday vacations are rarely taken as ‘vacations’ –but rather a space of time which you throw more onto your calendar and emotional plate than you’re ready to handle trying to do too much.  You end up pulling your psyche and heart into a space of juggling.  With this juggling, you’re not sticking to your original commitments of maintaining your own life LINKS. 

These LINKS then become neglected, rusty, stretched, pulled upon and sometimes broken. You end up losing the GOOD LINKS and end up somehow giving permission to the BAD LINKS to take over which end up making the holiday season a season of GIVING AWAY your health and well-being and RECEIVING perceived messages which are BAD for your psyche. 

The holidays can be like a carnival house of mirrors.  Think about that for a second.  If you get dizzy with the thought of having to examine your life from all these various sides with the upcoming holiday season, perhaps you can consider altering your holiday season.  You CAN change your life LINKS by unlinking to what the holidays do to negatively impact your life.

Obligations, traditions, and social conventions become your imprisonment if you are dealing with something more serious inside of you and your emotional and mental state. 

If you and your family are dealing with an annual re-living of a trauma, gathering for support is a good thing.  But hanging onto pain is not truly honoring your loss. If you take this LINK and honor your lost loved one with a new tradition or positive celebration in honor of their memory, you can change this LINK for the greater good.   

You have the power to bring it back around to building community or support or something where you can gather and support others – suddenly your holidays shift because you’re changing the LINK to make an impact to positively affect change and build more support.

This new opportunity to mark a new occasion on the calendar brings about a new ceremony and practice. Your loved one now has a lasting legacy in celebration of their life.  You don’t have to wallow in darkness you can take your loss and turn it into light, making magic with your shared experiences with others.

Now for the human holiday hater who just wants to get them over with – ask yourself the question:

“Do I have to subscribe to any of this commercialism of the holiday season?” 

The answer?  No, you don’t.  Change your LINK.

If you’re afraid of your family or friends dissing you because you choose to do something different – CHALLENGE THEM to get out of their own comfort zones to try something NEW. 

Read that again and giggle secretly to yourself as you devise a new tradition and lead them into a place of having an experience that isn’t cookie-cutter at all.  

How do you think they’ll react? Will they embrace it? Or are they too stuck or fearful of trying something not marked by tradition?   

Sure, maybe Grandpa Bill won’t want to do yoga with you or your little cousin will start to whine about not playing video games all warm indoors and having to trek out to the snow to make the largest snow Transformer – but you don’t have to stay stuck.  There is always a NEW LINK you can add to take yourself out of holiday hatred.  

Skip traditional material gifts and holiday hassles and have each person do a favor for someone in need of help.  

If you’re single and tired of watching romantic holiday movies drowning in your own Grinch mode or if you’re orphaned with no family, go to a senior center and be a dance partner to a widow or widower. Chances are you’ll start to see that your situation isn’t as grim as you had thought and you’ll get out of your pity party.  Help a bunch of kids make decorations or homemade gifts, or start planting trees to make up for all the ones that have been cut down for the season, give out cuddles at the animal shelter, or help out at a soup kitchen.  Make your own family with others who are in similar situations. 

The holidays don’t have to suck. They don’t have to be sad even with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Regardless of how you choose to handle or change your holiday LINKS… remember THIS during the entire holiday season:

“The holidays come and go, I am still here. I matter. I can be the link of change and change my links to new traditions.”