Write this down and keep it with you. It can save much pain. When journeying through the holidays solo, do these things every day:
1. Plan the day, even if the only events are waking up and eating.
2. Take a walk, a long one if you can.
3. Clean up, shower, etc.
4. Have a good meal.
5. Relax, read, listen to music.
6. Write whatever comes to you. It doesn’t have to be long, just a few thoughts.
7. Sleep well.
Wake up and repeat.
Christmas is always a delicate time. So much family togetherness and celebration. It can be suffocating. Everywhere you look people seem happy, shopping, planning with family and friends, social gatherings, dinners and parties. It is in your face everywhere. When you’re depressed you move through the holidays with a 20 pound weight on your shoulders. Everything is a major effort. If you are alone it can be the most depressing time of the year – or not.
Aloneness, loneliness, can be crippling. Everyone seems to have friends and family. Of course we know better, there are many people who know the pain of loneliness. It is part of the human condition. But when it’s you, the feeling of isolation can be overwhelming.
There is a way out. It is all about planning, which all by itself is incredibly therapeutic. Consider, when depressed our thoughts and feelings are chaotic. What is the natural antidote to chaos? ORDER – and that is what planning brings, ORDER. Here, once again, is choice, if we only realize we have choice. Choice gives us HOPE, that rare quality that eludes us when stuck in depression.
HOPE is not a stranger. It is always right beneath the surface. HOPE speaks with a soft voice, whereas depression and anxiety shout at us to get and keep our attention. We have a choice; stay with depression’s cement boots, or grab the life support of HOPE.