Dealing with Difficult Emotions in the Holiday Season (Quality Life Forum Support Series) Health Coaching Session Dec, 2019
“Holiday time is very tough for me”, she said softly with tears drip down. No need to say much, I understood. She is my dear friend for life. After the loss of her parents and her only sibling, the grief never went away with sadness hit hard especially on holidays. “I talk to them on my walk in nature, I play piano and sing for them, I take them along with me to travel the world, and I write to them in my journal. They are and will always be part of my life. I miss them dearly for holiday family reunion.” I sit with her and listened. We talked about loss, life today, and tomorrow. We setup and lit the Christmas tree together, and hung up the ornaments with family memories.
The holiday season is family time of joy and love by tradition. The holidays are emotional times, a time in which we focus on family bounds and friends connections which means a lot to us. Holiday cheer can be overwhelming. The holidays can also trigger grief, family tensions, loneliness, and facing our own imperfections.
If you are dealing with challenging emotions and the holidays are difficult for you, understand that you're not alone. The holidays may not in a position to create “the wonderful time of the year” for you but likely to make you feeling sad. For too many people in late life, remembering lost loved ones and memories from past can be painful.
Resistance to pain directly affects suffering. The fact is, trying to repress your true feelings and appear cheery and grateful when you're actually suffering doesn't really work. Respect your own feeling and be able to say “no” is the first line of self-protection. Feel free to turn off the Christmas carols, decline holiday parties, or social events. Don’t feel guilty about skipping events if you’re experiencing holiday overload.
If you're grieving, acknowledge it and understand that the pain associated with it is perfectly natural. The holidays can trigger painful memories that are hard to shake. If the season is making you feel lonely, be brave enough to reach out to someone whom you trust. If there isn't a specific person you can reach out to, don't be afraid to choose to be alone with intention. This may not make your pain go away, but will ensure you have the space you need to grieve freely and in a spirit of self-compassion. Spending time in silence may cultivate confidence. It can allow you to observe your emotions more objectively and teach you the value of being physically alone and mentally strong, instead of trying to forcing in cheers unnaturally. Allowing yourself to be brave enough to acknowledge how you are really feeling, the holiday season could be a time for authentic connection and healing.
Healthy outlets for dealing with difficult feelings:
Connecting with nature, go for an outdoor walk or a vigorous exercise
Connecting with self, write a journal, spend a quiet time or mediation
Connecting socially, share emotions with a trusted friend
Cultivate gratitude. Do something kind for someone else
Find a hobby of interest or fulfilling a dream
Focus on self-defined learning objectives and keeping up motivations for life-long learning
Volunteering for a worthy cause
Joining a support group or seeking professional help when needed
If you or your loved ones are dealing with difficult emotions at this time, I am here to help. Feel free to contact me at QualityLifeForum@outlook.com for a free call. Establish trust and open up your heart will be the first step of healing. A personalized health coaching program will be designed for you. We all need support at the difficult times; don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Take action now.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional for personal conditions.
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