Updated: Nov 7, 2022
In the past, usually during this time of the year I have experienced sadness and holiday blues. It is something about the holidays that brings out memories of the past and I start to re-experience some traumatic experiences. Sometimes it is remembering the loss of my grandmother, my failed expectations of my parents positions I want them to be in my life or just the triggers that happen when I am around certain family members. I literally love the holidays but experience a deep sadness because it brings out the truth of family and my reality for me. I know that this may be the reality for many who suffer from post trauma and still are dealing with overcoming trauma each day. Even though the holidays look different for each of us this year, it is important that we all take care of ourselves in the best way possible. So, I wanted to provide some tips to keep you encouraged and with an uplifted spirit even if you do have some difficulty this year during the holidays.
#1- Do not isolate yourself.
Being by yourself will keep you sad. Especially if you are sad due to loss or not having support like you would like. If possible, find someone or some people to share the holidays with. Maybe ask a friend if you can spend the holidays with their family. Being around joy and happiness will uplift your spirit. You may need that this holiday season to push through. Even if you have only one person that is fine. Make the best of that one person. Find some fun activities to do to bring in holiday cheer. Invite positive feelings such as optimism, joy, happiness, fun, and love to fill your heart as you make the best of it!
#2- Keep a journal and reflect on your feelings.
The reality is that when we experience feelings of sadness during the holidays we still have not gotten over some things. But, that is okay. Write down whatever bothers you or hurts you this holiday season. Pour it out. The best thing is to write it down so you can take some time to reflect and see what you may need to work on. Areas of growth are always good to find out so that we can always strive to be the best versions of ourselves.
You can get The Weekly Prayer Project Journal in the link below:
#3- Say affirmations each day.
Uplifting yourself during this time is going to be the thing that keeps you going in a season when you are experiencing sadness and blues. So find some affirmations that speak to what you are feeling this holiday season. Saying, repeating and believing these affirmations each day will help you to go into your day with a positive and optimistic mindset as you take on the day. You can google some affirmations or order The Speak Life, Be Resilient Affirmation Cards in our shop to help you get an early start.
Order Speak Life, Be Resilient Cards (pictured below) here: https://www.thediaryofaresilientqueen.com/product-page/speak-life-be-resilient-affirmation-cards
#4- Practice self-care.
You will need to nurture yourself during this time. If it is a bubble bath that will release the stress and tightness in your shoulders, then do it. If you need to speak with someone and need to reach out to someone then go to see a therapist. Whatever you will need to help you, do it. So many times we go to the doctor when something in our body does not feel right. We need to do the same with our mental and emotional health. Listen to your mind, body and emotions this holiday season. If you are deep in your emotions and you need some help do not be afraid to go and talk with someone. I can remember the day I called my therapist, I felt so much better. Queen, I was in tears of distress literally trying to get my words out. But, I felt so much better talking to her about all that I was going through. I realized that I just needed to release my feelings and to have support at the time of processing post trauma.
#5- Practice Gratitude
I am still working on practicing gratitude each day but I can surely tell you that it gives you a mindset shift. When you practice gratitude, you begin to see the blessings that you have and they begin to outweigh the things you do not have. Your mind starts to focus on gratefulness in your life. You start to be grateful for the small and big things you have.
#6- Decorate and get in the holiday spirit.
The main objective here is really to go and get in the holiday spirit. Maybe find some holiday themed décor to go around your home. Maybe even get a Christmas tree to decorate and get in the holiday spirit. Find some music that uplifts you. Maybe ask your closest friends over for some hot chocolate and holiday decorating. Just remember that this is to keep you in the spirit of cheer.
#7- Schedule in fun activities that you would enjoy.
Literally, I have the hack for you. Go on Pinterest and search for fun holiday activities. There you go, it is over thousands of different holiday activities. Find yourself engaging in holiday minutes to win it games, going to a tree lighting or baking some holiday cookies. Either way you will find some fun activities that interest you. Schedule a few in your calendar and really be intentional about showing up for yourself to enjoy the activities you have planned. Remember that being present in the fun is the most important part.
#8 - Learn to accept the reality and find ways to move forward with acceptance.
This is a bittersweet tip but it is a growth tip. This journey of resilience can be quite tough sometimes but we learn so much about ourselves along the way. As you go through the holidays, be alert and aware of how you feel, think and react to things. These can be signs of some much needed areas of your life where you may need to do some healing work whether it be forgiveness, self compassion or even some mending of a relationship. The thing is that it is time to begin accepting the reality of things so you can move on and heal in certain areas of your life. Coming back each holiday not accepting the reality can have you continue to allow things that were supposed to be done a long time ago. Remember it is a journey. Some things you can take a close look at are family, friendships, your job, your boundaries, your self-care, your priorities for a start. Be sure to give yourself grace because acceptance takes time and healing does too.
Here is a Psalm 91 to ease your mind of negativity this holiday and bring you into peace:
1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
7 A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
8 You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
This holiday season does not have to be one that drains you. You can take back control and implement ways to better serve you at this time. Take care of yourself. That is priority. If you are good then you can pour out to everyone else. The road to recovery from trauma and traumatic experiences is not easy but choosing each day to heal and become the best version of ourselves is the most important when getting better. Always know that you are not in this alone. God is there with you. He is all knowing and sees all. You are a very special part of that. Seek Him always and He will heal you. You are not your trauma! Now, go and enjoy this holiday with cheer!
Toni Simmons Husband