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  • Stramski Center

Turn those holiday blues into a plan

Joy to the world, the world rejoices? For some, this time of year truly is joyful: the twinkling lights, the music, the food…It can be a time of celebration, a time of connection, rejuvenation and spending time with loved ones. Although this is true for many, there are others who struggle this time of year. Whether the pandemic has added physical or emotional distance between friends and family members, we’re all looking forward to getting through the holidays and finishing this year strong.

For those who feel under the weather, blue, purple, or any other color that may represent a less than joyful emotion, it can be rough. Feeling lonely, sad or blue for the holidays may be familiar for some, but new for others. Some may be grieving the loss of friends or family, pets, work, a job or the way things were. There is nothing wrong with feeling sad. However, it may be helpful to talk to someone or get support during this time. A friend, a therapist, a pet, a trip, a nice gift to ourselves, these can all get us through sad periods.

Another stress around the holidays is financial. If you encountered money problems or may be adding to debt, this time of year may present with extra anxiety. It can be difficult to tell your child that Santa isn’t coming this year or that you cannot afford a particular gift. Whether you are dealing with sadness, loneliness, or debt, there is always something you can do to make it easier, better, less stressful, even if not all at once. There are debt relief programs, there are therapists who can help you prioritize, organize and plan for the future, and there are friends and family around you who may be willing to help. All we have to do is take that first-and often the hardest-step: asking for support. Next, we need to set up realistic goals and explore ways to achieve them successfully. This is difficult for everyone, but if debt or bills take away the joy this holiday season, consult with someone and end the year within budget. I am no financial whiz, but there are plenty of those out there. However, as a new year’s resolution, and to prevent the blues settling in again next year, come up with a plan, set up steps to ensure its success, and stay motivated. Why? Because you want to make sure that next year this time, you feel joyful, emotionally and financially ready for the holidays, whatever you celebrate. How?

1. Set up a budget (or any other goal). You can open a bank account just for this purpose or just put aside money for presents somewhere at home

2. Decide what is realistic and put aside that money every week or every month

3. Be consistent and intentional about it

We could all use more joy, and we are in charge of creating and sustaining that joy. Let’s remember what we have, be grateful for getting through another strange year and commit to making it through the end of 2021 with a plan.

Sad? Lonely? Grief-stricken? There’s help.

Money got you down? There’s help.

Guilty? Depressed? Feeling lost? You are not alone. And you guessed it: there’s help.

And if you are reading this and feeling pretty good about life, the holidays, or this year, be that help for someone around you who needs it.

Happy holidays to you and yours. May we all strive to be a little more patient, kind, organized, educated, aware and strong-physically, mentally and financially.


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