It’s Tuesday morning and I’m working through my to do list to get prepared for Thanksgiving. I’m hosting this year. My sister and her family will be here along with my man Mark and his two sons. Mark and I both feel excited about this holiday season. We both have had years when we were not.
The holidays are a pause in the everyday routines. This pause brings time to reflect on how things are going and how we feel. The pause could bring feelings of thankfulness and joy or feelings of sadness and loneliness. The natural inclination to take stock, makes the holidays a vulnerable time but possibly a helpful time.
Are you fortunate or unfortunate this holiday season?
During the holiday season, television ads and the mall make happy families and extra cash seem ubiquitous. It’s like Facebook amplified. On the opposite end, The Salvation Army and other charities become more prominent at this time of year too. It is their prime season to boost exposure and attract funds to aid the populations they serve. Everywhere we go we are reminded of the fortunate and less fortunate. No wonder the holidays trigger contemplation of one’s lot in life.
Finding yourself alone
During the hustle and bustle of holiday gatherings and celebrations, we could get lost in the crowds and let our minds fill with distractions. This could help us temporarily feel less alone. But most of the time, if we are feeling alone or down, we can’t outrun or distract ourselves enough to avoid the ache. At some point, we have to stop shopping, eating and drinking and feel.
Even if we have family around us, it is still possible to feel alone, unloved or unsupported. I know.
Introverts don’t even wish for this type of aloneness.
I’ve noticed an uptick in the number of coaching requests around the holidays. It seems many of those who find themselves on the lonely or sad end of the reflection spectrum, decide to take action and ask for guidance. In this way, the season of celebrations does a service by providing an opportunity to notice unhappiness and make adjustments.
It’s not the end of the world; it’s a signal to change your world
Speaking from experience, I know when we feel emotionally drained, it is darn hard to climb out of the hole, help yourself or ask for help. I also know, if we don’t, we stay stuck.
So, putting my coaching hat on, I urge those of you who feel lost this year to not see your situation as hopeless but to see it as a signal to make a change and take action. I recommend a small step toward a lighter existence. You do not have to have a fully designed plan to fix every aspect of your life. Just the next step, that moves you in a positive way. Perhaps calling a friend, cleaning your bedroom/office/kitchen, contacting a coach, starting a new positive habit (15 squats every day, 5 minutes of meditation, going to bed 15 minutes earlier…). After that, take another small step. The key is to not stop. It is effortful, but it is also worth it.
In other words, if you feel empty this year during the holidays, you have permission to care for yourself and make changes. Perhaps you feel unfortunate this year, which means it is OK to receive from others. Stop beating yourself up about not giving/having/being enough and let yourself receive. Ask for help. See the kindness of others. Take time to become aware of your emotions and inner world. Do what you need so you can be full enough to give next year.
If you happen to be in a good place this year…
If you feel fortunate this year, share your peace, gifts and success. Bring light and gratitude to others. Let’s be honest, it is easier to be grateful when we feel at ease and happy. Our nervous system quiets and we can see all we have. We don’t feel threatened, alone or like we are fighting for survival. We feel full and have more to give. If this is your state now, see it as your year to spread the wealth.
I am grateful to be in this position this year. Having been in the lonely and down position in the past, I can feel for those having a hard time now. I am excited to give.
I’ll share next week how I got to this wonderful place of equanimity.
Those of you celebrating Thanksgiving, enjoy the festivities! See all the goodness around you.:)
How are you feeling about yourself this holiday season? How are you feeling about your relationships? Are you ready to give or ready to change?
If you feel alone or ready for a change, contact me for guidance on taking steps toward more fulfilling ways of living and relating. Click on the link in this sentence (dark black font) or click on the coaching tab at the top of the page.
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