Bah Humbug! Have you ever had some not-so-great things happen right before or during the holiday season?
Christmas, New Year’s Day, the Holiday Season…This is supposed to be a time of glad tidings and joy. But if something less than desirable has recently happened, it can be hard to get into and stay in the holiday spirit.
Many of you know that my mom passed away unexpectedly back at the end of August. I spent the first 30 days pretty much in a fog. I still completed my responsibilities, but I got a heck of a lot less done during that time frame than I normally do because I was dealing with grief. And that was OK. I gave myself permission to downshift from Type A to Type G or Type K in order to give myself time to heal. Before long, I was able to get it back into gear.
But then the holidays rolled around. I’ve always heard from others how tough the “first holidays” can be. In the past, I’ve tried to give more attention and more hugs to those who are going through those “first holidays.” But now I’m experiencing them for myself. I don’t know if these feelings of grief are coming back because I’ve been told that they do or if because my mom passed only four months ago or what. Whatever the case, I’m getting the random cries. While driving, I’ll have a fleeting memory of my mom, and I’ll shed a tear. I’ll think of something that I need to tell my mom, then realize that I can’t call her, and I’ll shed a tear. It’s dang annoying to be doing this…especially because I don’t carry make up around and can’t touch up my eyeliner and mascara before stepping out of the car.
Maybe you’re not experiencing the death of a loved one. It might be a break up. A divorce. Someone did something mean to you. Someone wronged you somehow. And it’s really bothering you.
I need to be careful with how I say this because I don’t want you to think that I’m suggesting that if you’re in a less-than-joyous situation that you should repress your feelings. That is not the case. But if you feel like the sadness or the anxiety or the worry is creeping in and taking over, I encourage you to focus on the happiness and goodness that you have around you. Focusing on the positive will help you get out of this rut.
When we let grief or sadness or some other negative feeling take over, there tends to be a domino effect. Our brains lose focus more easily. We forget what we need to do, then we end up ticked off that we forgot, or stressed because we now need to cram something in. We forget where we put things, then we get frustrated because we can’t find them and have to waste time searching. When another bad thing happens, instead of shrugging it off like we normally would, we tend to wallow in it and think that the world is against us. Which leads to an even more unfocused brain and more forgetfulness….It can be a vicious, downward spiral.
But when we acknowledge that some crappy things can happen, and then redirect our energy to appreciating the wonderful people that we have in our lives, and all of the blessings that surround us, this positivity helps us get back on track.
So in the spirit of the holiday season, I hope that you’ll reflect with power and enjoy the little things in life. Embrace the love and goodness that is all around you.
For more info about how to stay positive (even during what might seem like a bah humbug holiday season) – and other productivity tools and tips – from time management keynote speaker Helene Segura, click here.