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How to SURVIVE the HOLIDAYS: Must I spell it out for you? (You know I will anyway)

How to Survive the Holidays

Well, rub your eyes ’cause it’s that time again. The holiday season is here, and that means exactly who knows what for the millions of us enduring a mood or anxiety disorder. Heck, probably for millions who aren’t. How to survive the onslaught is a common endeavor right about now, so let’s get after that spelling…

Loneliness can be fixed: Cold, dark, empty, and painful, right? Thing is, though, we can’t always count on others to reach-out to us. So let’s venture a contact (or two).

Aunt Sally’s fruitcake, Uncle Joe’s stale cigars, Cousin Faye’s corny (and sick) jokes, Grandpa Dwight’s table manners, Little Sarah’s tummy flu, MMA-like shopping – Pastor Philip’s pontificating, Grandma Jackie’s “When I was a kid…,” Mom and Dad’s expectations.

It’s on. And it can be brutal.

Don’t know about you, but I’ve always found it helpful to have support and direction at fingers-reach when the waters could get choppy.

For years, I’ve kept a hand-written index card in my wallet with the following quote from M. Scott Peck’s The Road Less Traveled

The symptoms and the illness are not the same thing. The illness exists long before the symptoms. Rather than being the illness, the symptoms are the beginning of its cures. The fact that they are unwanted makes them all the more a phenomenon of grace – a gift of God, a message from the unconscious, if you will, to initiate self-examination and repair.

Man, it still hits home.

How to SURVIVE the HOLIDAYS

So in the spirit of finger-reachable support and direction, I give you the How to SURVIVE the HOLIDAYS spell-out…

Honor self: Of course it’s about others this time of year, but let’s start the goodwill at home. Who better to bolster – before bolstering others?

Only do the best you can: Expectations, obligations, commitments – partners, family members, friends, co-workers, schoolmates – it can be choking. Let’s be realistic and simply human, okay?

Loneliness can be fixed: Cold, dark, empty, and painful, right? Thing is, though, we can’t always count on others to reach-out to us. So let’s venture a contact (or two).

Idle minds are the devil’s workshop: Keeping our minds occupied with constructive and uplifting thoughts and activities is crucial.

Do all you can to help another: There is no better way to manage depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness, and pain than to be there for someone. In fact, it’s pivotal in just about everything on this spell-out.

Always be thankful for another day: The coming of daybreak is often dreaded. But a new day is the only hope any of us have for fresh insight, growth, and feeling better.

Years of pain don’t dictate today and tomorrow: Learned thought, feeling, and behavior – in that order – run deep, I know. But in the face of history is the very real possibility of new – healing – personal circumstances. Can you prove otherwise?

Self-care, self-care, (self-care): Um, let’s see. Exercise, meditation, prayer, yoga, massage, manicure, reasoned eating and drinking, rest, reading, love, human interaction, pets, and whatever else may work for you. Just sayin’.

Well, so goes our How to SURVIVE the HOLIDAYS spell-out. Here’s hoping at least a portion of it is helpful to you. And if you’d like to make some additions, go ahead and do so – for all of us – in the comment section below.

Oh, and don’t forget to print the article and keep it within fingers-reach. One can’t get enough easily accessible support and direction.

Best!

That’ll do it, Chipur reader. Wishing you the very best for the holiday season, however you’d like to accept and respond to it. And thank you so much for your readership throughout 2016…
Bill

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