It should be the happiest time of the year. But oddly enough, for a lot of people, holidays are when they feel their worst.
With about 19 million Americans suffering from depression, and with prescriptions for drugs to treat the disorder having doubled over the last 10 years alone, the problem is only growing without real healthy answers from the medical community. The reason is that most people don’t have the first clue about what’s really giving us the blues.
Why is it so common for the holidays to make otherwise happy people depressed?
Here are three reasons you can get emotionally down during the holidays:
The holidays bring up a lot of emotional baggage from our childhood. If you have unresolved issues about your family the closer family contact during this time of year can stir these feelings up. Maybe your unresolved issues are keeping you estranged from your family, which stirs up feelings of loss, anger, and grief.
With the increased spending during the holidays, stressing over money can get you down. Increased spending can rock the boat in your relationships causing more contention.
If you have issues with food, you are faced with more temptation to blow your diet, and the thought of your overweight status is nagging you even more than ever.
Why do most people go through life never identifying the true source of their feelings?
Most of the year we can stay busy enough with the daily stresses of life that we tend to ignore the deeper feelings we carry, only to have them surface during the holiday season.
As children, we were not encouraged to share our feelings, we were told to put on a happy face and ignore how we really felt. These unacknowledged, buried emotions are feelings within us that are very much alive and active. They are the cause of many diseases and dis-harmonies in the body.
What are the three things anyone can do today to heal the holiday blues?
First, acknowledge that you feel blue or down. Place your hand on your chest, this is a major energy center called your heart chakra, and repeat the following three times, “Even though I feel down and blue I deeply love and accept myself.” (For more information on the Chakras pick up a copy of my Chakra Home Study Course, Becoming a Vibrant Human Being: Living, Loving, and Creating from Your Chakras.)
Accepting yourself in this downer state is powerfully healing. It will honor your feelings and in that honoring allow the emotional energy to begin to release.
Second, once you have acknowledged how you feel, take some time to write out how you might have felt as a child. The following is an easy and effective technique to help you get to those deeper feelings.
A Letter to Yourself: Take your dominant hand and write a letter to your younger self that never got to share their feelings honestly. At the top of a piece of paper write “Dear Little (your name goes here),” for example if I were writing to me I would write “Dear Little Carol.” On the next line write an invitation to your younger self to share their feelings, for example, “Tell me how you are feeling, what was it like to be you?”
Now take your pen or pencil and place it in your non-dominant hand and write “Dear Big (your name goes here),” and start writing and see what comes out.
Writing with your non-dominant hand mimics a child’s handwriting and taps into your deeper mind where the emotions are hiding.
Write back to your younger self with statements of acceptance and validation, honoring that is how you might have felt as a child.
Third, forgive yourself and others for how you feel. Do this by placing your hand on your chest (your heart chakra again) while repeating statements like:
“I forgive myself for feeling down and blue this time of year, I am doing the best I know how.”
“I forgive my younger self for feeling powerless and unheard, they were doing the best they knew how.”
“I forgive my mom and dad they did the best they knew how with the knowledge and resources they had.”
Forgiveness is an important step in releasing downer feelings. Even if you are not ready to completely feel forgiveness, doing this process plants seeds that propel you toward more wellness and happiness.
Slow down this holiday season. Take time each day to reflect on the good and the important that is in your life.
Reach out to someone in your family that you would not likely reach out to. Spend less money and give more gifts of service. Put food in its proper perspective, a resource to assist you in maintaining good health and not a substitute for fulfillment.
Tell yourself you are feeling better and better each day and you probably will.
Pick up a copy of my best-selling two-hour seminar on Audio CD Clear Your Childhood Issues to learn more powerful steps to clear the emotional baggage from your childhood. On this program you will learn the messages you needed to hear as a child and how to give yourself these messages so you are emotionally balanced.
Learn powerful techniques to heal the emotional issues from your childhood. Carol teaches you the six stages of development, what you needed and did not get in those six stages from ages birth to age 18 and how to heal that now on Carol’s best-selling Audio CD Clear Your Childhood Issues.