The holidays can be a difficult time for some people. It can be a time when people who have gone are remembered and missed, or a time of regrets and wishes for the future.
It can be a time when those prone to depression can take a deep dive and go so far inside themselves it can be difficult to come back out. However, with some effort, it can be possible to notice the spiral and stop it in its tracks.
That may sound like mission impossible, however with some determination and positivity it can be possible.
When you feel yourself starting to go ‘down’ take a step back and notice what the thoughts and feelings are that are supporting the feeling. If you think; oh no here I go again; and wait for the inevitable, you will be dragged under.
However, if you can notice how that thought makes you feel, and think along the lines of; what tis the feeling associated with this thought? What does it make me want to do? Usually you will notice that the thought acts as a catalyst to a feeling and a behaviour.
For example; if you think on waking about a meeting you are dreading and how you don’t want to go, you will feel inclined to pull the covers over your head and stay in bed. On the other hand, if you think, today will be challenging and I’m not sure how it will go but I’m up for whatever it brings, you are more likely to create resilience; and get up ready to face what the day brings.
When you prepare yourself for the holidays, instead of the usual dread, see if its possible to find feelings of joy and gratitude. Trying to ensure that you are not alone, or that you have reached out to someone else who is alone. This act can serve two purposes.
Firstly, it ensures that you are engaged with another person. Sometimes another persons situation can help you put your own situation in perspective, and maybe even help you to feel better about it.
Secondly, it means that two people who would otherwise have been alone have company. The sense of belonging and renewed faith in humans that this brings can be fantastic for both health and well-being.
Instead of going the old familiar route, perhaps take a chance on trying to see things differently and to act in new ways that will create new behaviours.
Henry Ford expressed it like this, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
Meaning, unless we change our behaviours we will keep getting the same results. Taking action, or having a willingness to try to act in a new way will set you on the path to making changes and breaking old patterns.