1. Being Alone (37%)
Can you relate to this one? Most long to belong—to be loved and to love. Being alone for the holidays just doesn’t seem right, and if you’ve had a loved one die or experienced the end of a romantic relationship, it can be difficult to say the least.
Tip: You will probably need to give yourself permission to have fun. Invite a few friends over for snacks and play some games or have a movie night with popcorn and pie. Consider accepting that invitation to join a friend for Thanksgiving dinner. Invite a friend to go with you to a Christmas Eve service or a night out to see the lights. The key is you know it’s going to be hard, so plan. Make plans to be with some people you care about and you know care about you.
2. Shopping and/or Parties (35%)
Trying to decide what to get people can be a major stressor not to mention the possible financial strain. No doubt you want your gifts to be something useful, fun, and yet look extravagant, while at the same time being a wise shopper.
Tip: Don’t think you have to figure everything out on your own. For those hard-to-buy-for people on your list, ask them what’s on their list this year. Also, consider the gift of food. Pick up a couple of steaks or something you know they enjoy. For many people they really don’t need anything, yet a gift of food is something they can enjoy without trying to figure out where they’re going to put another item on their shelf.
And, then there’s the parties! Personally, I like them. I love being with people. Yet, I also know what it can be like if I’m not feeling especially social. It’s possible to be lonely even in a crowded room. You’ve probably been there, done that. Many times, you just might find yourself putting on a happy face and acting as though everything is fine! In the Grief Recovery Method, we say F I N E stands for “Feelings Inside Not Expressed!” So how do you cope?
Tip: If you’re not feeling social but know you really do need to give yourself permission to have fun, let the host know you appreciate the invitation and are planning to come but you’d like to alert them that you might need to leave early. You can share what details you feel comfortable sharing but don’t allow yourself to feel pressured to share any more than necessary, if you don’t want to go into the details. Then, at the party, make your way around the room. Ask people what they’re looking forward to this coming year or ask about their children. As stated before, give yourself permission to have fun, laugh, and enjoy the moment. Also, give yourself permission to leave if you find it especially difficult. If you’ve had a significant death or breakup, your friends will understand. Take care of yourself.
3. Being with Family (28%)
Let’s face it. Sometimes being with family can be stressful. Maybe Aunt Mable doesn’t like your spouse, or the cousins don’t get along. Different views, preferences, you name it. Being with family can be difficult anytime, especially during the holidays.
Tip: Watch your expectations. If certain people don’t get along, consider having them sit on the same side of the table with a couple of people in between them. If a topic is posed that you know people have different opinions on, don’t hesitate to say, "Out of respect for everyone, we’re not going to go there." Keep the topics light. Perhaps have some table talk topics prepared in advance, which will not only prevent the hot topics from coming up but create an atmosphere of fun.
Please, let us know how we can be of help during this holiday season.
Call today! 520-668-5906
Bobbie Rill, M.A., LPC
Advanced Grief Recovery Specialist/Natl.Trainer
A well-loved speaker and counselor Bobbie has been guiding individuals successfully for over 25 years.
The Grief & Wellness Group, Inc.