Saturday, December 12, 2009

5 Ways To Overcome The Holiday Blues

Holidays often conjure images of past memories, of warmth, and the sharing of a special time with loved ones. But being alone for the holidays is a sad time for many people.

Some people, however, miss the point of what holidays are really about and what makes them special. Holidays are not about what you get; they are about what you give. The joy of holidays is not about what you receive; rather it is about what you share. Hearts get filled with love when we give and share love, rather than from getting love.

This may seem like a paradox. Many people spend their time with others attempting to get love, attention and approval, thinking that this is what will makes them feel happy and worthy. But getting attention from others to fill ourselves is like eating chocolate when you are lonely – it works for the moment, but then you need more and more of it. Eventually it becomes an addiction.

What really fills the emptiness is the giving of love. If you are alone over the holidays, the question becomes, “How can I give love in ways that will bring me joy?”

Here are five suggestions that will help you get over your holiday blues.

* Gather toys from friends and store donations and bring them to children who would not otherwise have toys. You can find these children through schools, churches and various other organizations.

* Spend time with old people in nursing homes, especially those who have no family. Spending time caring about another lonely person will go a long way toward taking away your loneliness!

* Volunteer to help with serving food to the needy over the holidays. Many churches and other charitable organizations welcome volunteers to help in food lines during this time of the year.

* Find a church, temple, or 12-step group in your area that has special events for singles over the holidays. Go to these events with the intention of sharing your caring with others, which you can do just by listening to another person. We all love being listened to and understood, and all of us have the capacity to give this to another.

* Go online and read some of the uplifting personal essays of the past in Yesterday's Magazette.

One of my all-time favorite movies is “A Christmas Carol.” The scene on Christmas morning when Scrooge realizes that no time has actually passed and he still has the opportunity to give. He feels such joy at the prospect of giving, that he can hardly stand it! He dances around and laughs and laughs with the joy of giving!

In one night he went from being a miserable old man concerned only with himself, to a man focused only on giving to others, and he became a joyful person.

While you might not have money to give, we all have caring to give. You have no idea how much you might enrich your own life as well as the life of somebody else, just by giving your time, your attention, your interest, your smile, your understanding. Whatever your life circumstances, you always have the opportunity to give of yourself. Believe me, you will discover that being kind to others, especially over the holidays, is a profound way of rewarding yourself.