Monica is a professional photographer, author, and volunteer for our stroke camp and for other camps dealing with other types of brain injuries. I bought her book on surviving the holidays last year and I highly recommend it. Sometimes we don't realize why we don't feel as happy around the year end holidays we think we should. I mean, why not?! Her book will help you through that.
By Monica Vest Wheeler
Yes, ‘tis the season for THAT holiday spirit … which means something different to each of us human beings who recognize traditional and ceremonial dates as winter and a new calendar year blow our way. In the United States, Thanksgiving and Christmas are the most widely celebrated and “legal” holidays.
However, not everyone is enthused about the arrival of THE holidays, and there are more people dreading this time of year, many, many more than you think. If you feel that way, you're not alone.
It's not that most of us are not filled with genuine thoughts of thanksgiving, but the stress of putting on a “happy” face non-stop for six or seven weeks can be exhausting, emotionally and physically. So much is expected of us this time of year that it's easy to put ourselves on automatic just to survive. Automatic can be good at times, but not necessarily during the “most wonderful time of the year.”
I admit that I do struggle with the holidays and have for years. I remember tragedies and losses during these closing weeks of the calendar year, and the ink of those impressions have a sense of permanency simply because of when they happened. And I am not alone.
What I have discovered is that it's all perspective, and everyone has one, as unique as our DNA. While we cannot force someone to change that perspective, we have the power to influence those thoughts and observations in a positive, loving, supportive way. And it's not done in the noisy parade of the holidays, but the quiet corner of personal connections this and any time of the year.
It's all about listening and sharing. It's about helping unwrap the complicated emotions of the holiday experience one layer at a time. It's about exploring the deeper meaning of our human bonds.
It's about unwrapping and sharing yourself, the real you, perhaps the most precious gift of all.
If you'd like to read more about this topic, please consider checking out the following: