Clues to Replace the Holiday Blues

Part I of 4 — A Change in Perception

The 2020 holidays will go down in history as one of the most memorable. Shutdowns, limited gatherings, and online shopping replaced endless meanderings, big parties, and shop-til-you-drop. While some people are making the best of it, others are feeling suppressed and depressed.

We may not have control over the new rules and regulations, but we do have control over how we respond to all of the negativity that bombards us.

A Course in Miracles teaches us that a miracle is a change in perception. The holidays are a great time for miracles. One change in perception could be from focusing on Covid19 restrictions to creating a loving holiday season. Instead of being bummed out by what we cannot do and all of the terrible things that are happening, we can think about all the ways to create enjoyable celebrations.

Help Others

Rather than thinking about the lack of parties, we can care for a few lonely people who need our love. More frequent phone calls, cards, and little mementos can provide a great deal of kindness to someone in the cold draft of isolation. Putting together a photo album for a relative in an assisted-care facility could kindle more warmth than a glowing fireplace.

Just because we can’t go to our place of worship doesn’t mean we can’t continue to donate, volunteer, or even call our spiritual leaders just to wish them happy holidays or offer to help in some way.

Rather than looking on someone with pity, ask yourself, “How can I help?” When you feel stressed, what can you do to stop the madness and sink into self-love? If your kids grumble about the “ruined” holidays, ask them if they are willing to plan some new things to do, like helping someone. This could be an opportunity to learn new values or reinforce old ones — the great feeling of providing service to others.

Focus on the Good

There are always good and bad things happening. During the course of life, there will always be desirable and undesirable events. We have no choice over many of those events, but we can choose how to respond.

When our thoughts go dark, all we have to do is choose to see a situation differently. There is a part of every person that has the light to change negativity into creative thought. We are not at the effect of the world, but we are at the effect of our thoughts.

We can kick and scream, fighting reality every step of the way, or we can embrace our feelings and allow them to be released so that we are freed of angst. The latter promotes learning and growth, which always leads to a better way of life.

We can also shift our perception from how bad things are to some of the good stuff. New medications are out in record time; we are learning the best safety techniques, and rather than endless impending doom, the end is in sight.

The miracle is seeing the silver lining of every cloud. Choose to see any situation through the lens of love instead of fear, and you will be empowered to enjoy life under any circumstances.

If you choose to change your perception during this holiday season, you can fill your memory basket with miracles a-plenty.

Dr. Donna Marks is a licensed psychotherapist and an addictions counselor. She is certified in Gestalt Therapy, Psychoanalysis, Hypnosis, and Sex Therapy.

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