“Tis the season to be jolly?” For many the sight of decorations or hearing a holiday song creates an instant cringe leaving them to think, “Not the holidays again.” When we were children waking up on a holiday morning was full of excitement; the day had presents, good food and fun. As adults we have to buy the presents, prepare the food and many find themselves alone with no one to have fun with. This results in the holidays creating stress or loneliness as they approach.These different emotional states are often referred to as the infamous “Holiday Blues.” Blues is a mysterious term. It has the connotation that sounds seasonal like getting the flu, holiday blues season. If you catch it, then you catch it and there’s nothing you can do other than wait for it to go through your system making it out of your control.People say, “Yea, I’m feeling a bit off, you know it’s that time of year.” However, you have not caught the flu, you simple have allowed your mind to drift into an emotional state. Rather than thinking about the emotional states as blues, let’s call them holiday expectations. The emotional overload gets created from our own expectations of ourselves, what we expect from others, or what we think others expect from us.
By learning how to change our perceptions of expectations, we can take back control and enjoy the holidays and be grateful for what we have.First, change the expectations you have of yourself:Parties to go to and you want to look good. Do not judge yourself, you cannot make any instant changes. Love who you are and your friends and family will always be happy to see you. Avoid, overeating and over drinking this will create holiday blues, and post holiday blues. During the holidays, combat the blues with physical activity take walks, play and workout.Towards the end of the year we tend to reflect on what we accomplished. Don’t spend the holidays judging your results, or comparing this holiday to others. You cannot change the past. Today is a new day, enjoy and decide that you are going to live your life right now.Whether you are single or not the lack of the romantic life can send us into the blues. If you are single, you might not get to spend the holidays in the heat of romance, but learning to take control will lead towards changes next year. If you are in a relationship decide to initiate romance and do not wait for it.We have expectations that we should be with family, friends or a lover during the holidays. We don’t always have that choice and feel lonely. Instead of spending your time alone, make a huge charitable donation. Give your time to others and volunteer. You won’t feel lonely as you put smiles on the faces of the less fortunate.Second, change the expectation you have of others:Your expectations truly brings meaning to the old saying, “Expectations breeds disappointments.” You may be expecting cards, presents, better presents, attention or bonus at work. We all have all sorts of expectations, but the truth is you have no control over what other people will or will not due. Nothing can ever live up to the expectations you create, but when you don’t expect everything is special and nothing is a disappointment.
Third, the expectations you feel others have of you:Don’t fall in to the commercial trap of placing yourself in credit card debt. If you do, you may not get depressed during the holidays, but wait till you open the mail next month! Realize that holidays are about the spirit not the gift. Give what you can afford. Write cards and enjoy free activities.Too much to do? Make lists and prioritize and give yourself a break. Divide tasks amongst family and learn that everything doesn’t have to be perfect. Do your best, but the holidays is not what you give, or what you receive or the perfect party, it’s about being with each other, so enjoy!This year has been filled with disasters all around the world and as corny as it may sound let’s try and get back to the roots of what holidays are all about, family, friends and spreading joy. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Happiness or blues, you can choose!
– As a life coach, Devlyn has made helping people find ways to improve their lives his personal mission and passion. He is a public consultant, a private counselor, an author and creator of Tools To Life. He has hosted his own radio shows called “Tools To Life” and “Love beat” and has been a guest on over 150 various shows. You can read his articles and advice all over the internet. Devlyn has often been referred to as “America’s Leading Life-Coach.” For free E-books and more information visit DevlynSteele .com Send Questions To: CoachSteele@ToolsToLife .com.