6 tips for those having a lonely Christmas
-by Daveny Ellis
The holiday seasons are filled with mixed emotions for so many of us.
The wonderous expressions of love and good cheer are plastered everywhere- so often we get swept up in seeing the perfect Christmas on television and in the media that we can forget that everyone doesn't always have the easiest time at the holidays.
When our lives don't match the images we see around us or live up to our own ideals of family and friendship, it can be painful.
Spreading all that good cheer, keeping traditions alive and creating memories can be tiring. Hopefully one of these six tips can help in some way to let you get through the holidays with a little bit more ease.
1. Make this a season of giving: Each person has a different value to this time of year. A way to make this time of year more fulfilling might be to dive headlong into making this the season of giving back. Give a donation to someone, do volunteer work or do a surprising, thoughtful thing for a loved one.
2. Expect old wounds to resurface: The holidays can mean running into relatives, friends or former lovers that you may have issues with. But it may be best to keep things simple and not try to resolve differences during this time. Don't start a debate or get drawn into any drama. Just hang near the people you love and that love you.
3. Set boundaries: It can be difficult to maintain composure around others. Try your best not to personalize hurtful comments, but allow yourself space to kindly establish when people are being too personal or hurtful towards you.
4. Try deep breathing: If you need to get away for a moment and take some deep breaths in the midst of everything go for it. It can really take a lot of the edge off the tension and pressure at this time. Lie on your back, breathing evenly and gently. Focus your attention on your breath, coming in and out and the movement of your stomach. As you breathe in, allow your stomach to rise. Exhale fully, pushing all the air out of your lungs. Continue for 10 breaths.
5. Control what you can control: As much as we would like to, we are not in control of everything that is happening to us. Sometimes we just have to accept that there are things that are out of our control and the only things we can control is ourselves.
6. Make your own traditions: It does not matter what you decide to do this season as long as it makes you happy. Try to create moments that are special to you and those who matter to you. Maybe staying in with friends and family and watching television or going into Queen's Park on Christmas morning. Whatever you choose to do is up to you and is about making you happy -no one else. Your happiness is paramount, so create a happy holiday tradition that you can revisit when the time of year gets a bit too much for you.