“Tis the Season”
For many, December can be “the most beautiful time of the
year.” For others, it may feel the most stressful. For those
who overextend their commitments and budgets, this time of year
can evoke feelings of regret, worry and exhaustion. For those who
have lost loved ones, or who are far from their families, there
may be feelings of sadness and loneliness. For those who don’t
celebrate their traditions in December, there can be feelings of
“not fitting in.” When everyone else seems to be having
so much fun, one’s negative emotions may feel all the more
If you are feeling more dread than elation at this time of year,
know that you are not alone. A 2001 British survey found that 45%
of respondents felt depressed around the holidays.
If you are starting to feel that way, then fight the urge to isolate
and find someone to talk to about your feelings. Give yourself permission
to say “no” if you are feeling overwhelmed with commitments.
Try to spend what you have, not what you don’t have. Consider
the AA tradition that urges you to HALT before you begin to feel
too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired, leaving you vulnerable to negative
feelings or overindulgence. Perhaps, create your own tradition for
this time of year.
As the year comes to a close, I would like to thank clients for
sharing your stories and unique selves. It has been my good fortune
to accompany you on this part of your journey. I would like to thank
my colleagues for the ongoing support, referrals and knowledge you
have shared. Thanks to my family and friends for your love and care.
For those who responded to my request to send in stories of “doing
it now,” thank you for sharing. Garages were emptied, scrapbooks
completed, books read and desks organized.
As we look back over the last year and plan for the next, let’s
remember all the goals we have reached, insights we have gained,
laughter we have shared and the happiness we have brought others
and let’s hope for more of the same next year.
I wish all of you the best of December and a happy and healthy
Barbara Fish, M.Ed.
Personal and Career Counsellor
“Helping Your Life Work”
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