The holiday season comes upon us earlier and earlier. The Halloween decorations are still up when the Christmas music begins playing in stores. If you believe the media, everyone is happy and full of goodwill throughout the season. Families are together for huge feasts, and everyone receives what their heart desires on Christmas morning. So how is it that you are feeling so sad, when the world is so happy?

Financial problems can be especially rough during the holidays. With so many reminders to “buy buy buy” and to show people you care through presents and parties, it can be difficult to say “no, I can’t afford it”. So sometimes we spend money that we shouldn’t, and brush the guilty feelings aside because it is the holidays. While spending might feel good at the time, going over the credit card bills in the New Year will not be as enjoyable. It is ok to take a “time out” from overspending. Try to focus on creating memories with friends and family instead of just buying a gift. Many older relatives would appreciate a day spent with them, to accompany them on outings and appointments. Take your family to a park and have a rustic picnic. You can show your children the need out there in the community by taking them to a shelter to volunteer, or by shopping for gifts for a homeless family.

The holidays may also bring painful childhood memories into focus. Many people did not have “ideal” childhoods where Santa brought the gifts requested, and family members came together in a loving way. The holiday season may make you ruminate on problems with your own parents, and the loss you still feel from not having the happy childhood that you see pictured in the media setting. These feelings do not have to stay with you throughout your life, and with the partnership of one of the Orlando therapists at Life Skills Resource Group you can focus on making your own holiday traditions and recovering from past hurts.

Sometimes the holidays can also bring back strong feelings of grief and loss, especially if you have lost a loved one recently. Having lost my wonderful grandmother last year, this will be the second Christmas that she is not here with us. I get saddened thinking of the Christmas cards not sent, and not seeing her with the rest of the family unwrapping her gifts. Sometimes it does not seem real that she is not here with us. I know that it is even harder for my mother to not have her mom here in the holiday season. This year I know we will keep her memory alive by continuing to share our memories of my grandma throughout Christmas time and afterwards. She loved flowers, so whenever I see displays of poinsettias I think of a happy memory we shared. There is no “time limit” on missing a loved one, and it is normal to feel sad that someone you loved is no longer there to share beloved holiday traditions. However, if you feel that your feelings of loss and grief are getting in the way of your day to day life, our counselors at Life Skills Resource Group Orlando can help you to work through these emotions in a positive way.

In closing, if the holiday season does not fill you with overwhelming joy and peace this does not necessarily make you a “Grinch”. The holidays can be a time of heightened emotions and past pains unearthed. Please take care of yourself over the next few weeks, and if you would like to talk to one of our counselors please visit the OUR TEAM page and contact us at Life Skills Resource Group for a FREE phone consultation. Jes


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