Honor the memories of those with whom you've shared past holidays
Here come the holidays along with the shopping, fighting traffic, putting up holiday decorations, planning holiday dinners - the list is endless. But there is also another side to the holidays which is sometimes overlooked but affects almost all of us, one way or another: missing loved ones we have lost over the years who shared holidays with us. This can lead to depression and feelings of loneliness, especially at family gatherings, when we look around the table and remember those who joined us for these occasions, but are no longer with us in bodily form.
Sometimes we try to push these thoughts aside as we go about preparing for the holidays, but memories have a way of sneaking in when we least expect them. Over the years I have learned to embrace these memories; and when a feeling of sadness starts to creep in, I immediately replace it with memories of good times, funny incidents which occurred, or even meaningful conversations I had with those I have lost.
Here are some tips:
If you miss someone - perhaps a favorite uncle, cousin, parent or friend, talk to them in your mind, just as if they were there with you. I am convinced that they can hear us and are happy to know that they are not forgotten.
If you have saved Christmas or holiday cards from those who have departed, display them in a special area of your home with decorations or candles. I know that they stop by and visit and it will let them know that they are remembered with love.
If depression seems to overwhelm you, take a walk and focus on nature around you. Sometimes starting a much-needed project will keep your mind occupied, such as cleaning bookshelves, sorting decorations, etc. Play some up-beat music while working, or even call a friend you haven't heard from in a while. When we move around and start doing something, it increases our endorphins. This helps to relieve stress and refocuses our attention.
Do you have a strategy that works for you? I'd love to hear it.
by Sheila x8919