Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Holiday Blues: Halloween and Onward

Halloween/Samhain was rough this year. I knew it would be but I wasn't expecting several days of mourning. I'm guessing it was a combination of honoring Mom along with Dad this year and knowing that the anniversary of Mom's passing is just around the corner. Her last ICU visit immediately followed our family Thanksgiving dinner last year, which led to her passing on December 19th. I can't believe it's been a year already; the realization hit me so hard that although I did honor her,  I couldn't honor her in the way I wanted to, but I know that she knew my heart and my intention.

I decorated their shrine for Autumn with just a touch of Halloween and was pleased with the result.
The Halloween items have since been removed, leaving it very appropriate for November.

Coping Methods for the Holiday Blues

  • Count Your Blessings. I've been doing this daily, and it really does help chase the blues away!
  • Spend Time in Nature:  I've been taking nature photos to remind me of the blessings all around me. Nature is a great healer! I encourage you to take walks, snap photos, and enjoy the peace and beauty around you.
  • Community Service: This Thanksgiving, I am volunteering at the local community Thanksgiving Dinner, but there are many ways you can give back to the community: volunteer at your local soup kitchen, food bank, or volunteer for story time at your local library or children's hospital, etc.
  • Secret Santa: pick one (or more) people to secretly gift at Christmas/Yule, or maybe an entire family. This is great fun!
  • Angel Tree: Make a child's Christmas and pick an angle off your local Angel Tree and donate the requested item. Doing this feels awesome!
  • Create a holiday altar for your lost loved one(s), complete with candle and photo. I keep an altar year round; it's my way of remembering and honoring my parents, and yes... I talk to them, and cry. Crying is part of the healing process and perfectly normal, so don't worry about allowing yourself to grieve.
  • Take care of yourself: meditate, do yoga, exercise, etc
  • Pamper Yourself: take yourself to a movie, have a spa day, have a nice dinner out, buy yourself a present. You are worth it and deserve your love and appreciation!
  • Decorate: Making your house festive for the holidays is a great mood lifter. If you have the house all to yourself, decorate anyway!
  • Treat your Neighbors or Co-Workers: bake up some pumpkin bread or other holiday treats to give your neighbors and/or co-workers. Of course if you are like me and hate to cook, store bought goodies work, too!
  • Counseling: don't be afraid to seek professional help if you need to

These are some of my photos, which were actually part of a recent project for Inner Goddess Revolutionaries). This project has helped me see the beauty all around me on a daily basis; it helped me move my thoughts from the depressing to the uplifting.

The holidays can be difficult, but stay positive, find uplifting activities to keep you busy, and practice giving. Giving back is an amazing experience! So chase those blues away and choose to make each day a good day!