Friday, November 20, 2015

Weekend, Holidays and Such...

         While all the hustle and bustle of the upcoming holidays tend to make many people excited and happy, it can also make some anxious and tense. The reasons vary greatly from person to person, but we do know that tension and anxiety can trigger OCD symptoms.
       So, begin now, over the weekend, to take measures to address whatever it is about the upcoming holidays that might bring on negative emotions. And then see if there is a way to remedy that.
        Sometimes we have to do things differently than we've been doing in the past for holidays. Maybe not see the same people (if they cause us tension) or go to the same places. For some, a loss of a person close to us can make us dread the festivities without them. Or a divorce or break-up in a relationship. Some counseling can be a big help in coping during this time of year. We might have to spend the holidays alone if family is far away or we have none.
    Others choose to help others during the holidays by volunteering in soup kitchens or at a local church with fairs and decorating - or behind-the-scenes as needed.
     Doing things quietly on our own to gain moments of holiday joy can be very therapeutic. Preparing a Thanksgiving meal for one with all the trimmings is perfectly fine. We are giving thanks and enjoying what we are able to partake of. No reason to miss out on the special fare of the season due to being solo. After the meal some choose to go out for dessert to a cafe or a coffee house. Lots of folks sit alone at such places for a special seasonal treat.

       Going to see the store windows all decorated. Strolling through the festive department stores and/or
Sipping a warm latte by the fireplace or under a soft blanket and listening to special songs of the season. Spending time in church absorbing the quiet and pondering the spiritual aspect of the celebrations.
Watching a favorite holiday movie with popcorn and eggnog. And it's fun to decorate even just for yourself and enjoy the atmosphere.

Walking through the lit-up neighborhood or park at night enjoying the Christmas lights.
     These are things that can enrich our moods and our souls. Loneliness, a big issue during this time of year, need not rob anyone of all their joy.
       As we begin the weekend, let us be mindful of what we can do to keep calm, bring in some joy, and not feed the OCD symptoms with stress and anxiety.  And if the symptoms are already overactive right now, talk back to each symptom as if they are all bullies full of lies, trying to make you afraid and miserable.
        And don't forget...we can be joy-givers and helpers to others who are having a hard time during holiday season. It's a good feeling for the giver and receiver. Invite a lonely person over for coffee. 
Smile at someone who looks sad. Call a friend who you know is going through a difficult time.

        Hopefully reading this will bring some enthusiasm into the upcoming holidays, whether alone, going through a personal struggle, or due to OCD. Enjoy the weekend and have a Happy Thanksgiving! .

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