Part Two: Possible Hassles; Assessing Your Situation

In Part One of these three parts about Holidays, Hassles, and Getting Happy, I asserted that if you can be upbeat all during the holidays, then I salute you. I don’t want anyone to get triggered by these things I am citing here. Most of us find occasional stress, so by naming challenges, you can actually dissipate most of them. It is when we are unaware that makes challenges seem bigger. Knowing what bothers you and knowing you’re not alone, can lower the stress, giving you a chance to circumnavigate the issues. After mentioning some things that get in the way of the holiday season being sane and happy, I’ll be covering some solutions and specific ways to bypass the obstacles. Then, you have a better chance to enjoy the season.

Here are some possible obstacles to holiday happiness:
1. People overload
You’ll likely be with every age person: teens who don’t want to be with family, adults who have different political or religious views, etc. There may be people too many people. Or, it may be people you don’t want to be with.

The holidays are extra difficult for many of us. On the radio a few years back, I heard that 90% of people do not like some aspect of the holidays. One reason people gave was they didn’t want to be with people they don’t like.

With mental illness during the holidays, depending on the type and severity, things can be far more stressful for them, as it can be for you, as a friend, or family member. Realizing that the sufferer gets agitated or upset at holidays does tend to affect you.

Conversely, the opposite of people overload is some people suffer from loneliness during the holidays. That’s another version of the belief that things should be different.

A corollary to loneliness is memories of so called “better” holidays or more ideal holidays that one thinks others are having. Remember your creativity can change that.

2. Doing too much
Life is already very full, then December brings obligations, if you accept them as such. Shopping, mailing, baking, decorating, and partying are some examples. All of these can be wonderful. All of it in a limited amount of time can be stressful.

Even if you don’t have a mentally ill person in your life, someone in your family may not be able to handle a lot of the holiday and you may be wishing she or he could. Notice if your expectations are causing tension.

Another complication is denial. We deny that we, and others, have trouble doing it all. Sometimes people think that their loved one should do things better, or more. Then disappointment reigns. Or, the targeted one may have self-judgment and possibly might take it out on you.

3. Spending money you don’t have
Lots of people go in debt. Children’s toys cost more now then ever. Ditto for adult gifts. Marketing makes expectations higher. When its all over after holidays how are you left? Are you enriched? Or did you spend on wasteful things? What does it do to people to get all sorts of things and those things don’t satisfy for more than three days. The whole process can leave children and adults depressed. It can disconnect us. Parents are rushing around and not connecting with children. Giving instead of being. Are you deeper in your spiritual life? Are you connected to your inner light? Being with loved ones enhances your life and theirs. Often it makes us, and our planet, ill to shop just to shop. I hear horror stories at the gym. People are resentful for all they have to buy, how much things cost and how little they have to show for their money. We’re suffering from what we’ve created. Children actually can get crabby from too many gifts. They get overwhelmed from too much. Look at what is important to you for the holidays. Only you know that. I can’t tell you what that is. Are we buying the product or the way it makes us feel? Parents are often manipulated by the children who are manipulated by the advertisers working for the corporations. And much of what your paying for is the cost of the advertising that had you think you had to buy it in the first place.

4. Less sunlight can affect you.                                                                                                           Given the outer darkness in the northern hemisphere, we’re all a little ‘thrown off’ our game at this time. Depression tends to affect more people during the winter. If you have a friend or family member who suffers, they may seem more problematic to you. They may be doing all they can to keep it going, in whatever capacity they can. Or, if you are a sufferer, life may feel more tense trying to live up to some ideal.

December includes the darkest days of the year, other than January. The shorter daylight leads up to this years solstice on December 21, 2016, though it can vary between Dec 21 – 23. An extreme time of year, it’s a turning point when days get slightly, imperceptibly longer each day. All through ancient times, people recognized the darkest day as a sacred time. They celebrated the coming longer days. The solstice is on the far edge of the most imbalance between day and night. The very thing that people crave, the light, has been staying a slightly shorter time since the summer solstice. We know that in Northern Hemisphere the earth will turn more to the sun each day after solstice. For many of us, that is a big deal. For those living in the northern climates, we look forward to the warmer days. Dark days can be challenging. Cold days can be a struggle, too. It takes courage to take care of yourself, so you’re not affected by that extreme time of year.

The question is: Are you doing all your doing because you love it? Or, are you doing it because you’ll look bad if you don’t? It’s fine to do everything, if you truly enjoy it all.

The next segment is about Getting Happy. I will list strategies to deal with December holidays. Until then, enjoy!