Day 11 | Beating the holiday blues

So this guy walks into a bar. Then another guy walks into the bar. And then another. And another. Pretty soon you’ve got a full house, and you realize what the big deal is. They’re here for the holidays.

Their heads are low. Their voices are soft. Underneath the sparkling red reindeer cutouts and glittering green garland strung above the counter, everyone here’s got the wintery blues.

Maybe you know one of them. Maybe you are one of them. Maybe you’re considering joining them. There’s a reason for that.

For many, this holiday season is the first one they’ll be celebrating following a loss in the family, the loss of a job, a fractured relationship, or any number of big life transitions.

From the outside looking in, the pain they must feel may be difficult to comprehend. From the inside looking out, the pain may be difficult to explain. But the holidays are here, nonetheless, and grappling with the new “normal” doesn’t have to debilitate us.

The reality is this time of year can be really difficult for a number of people for a number of reasons. This doesn’t mean that we do anything less to mark the occasion or that we stop celebrating the season altogether. It does mean that we’re mindful of others and how their experiences this past year may have deeply affected them. Compassion is critical.

If we ourselves are feeling the holiday blues, we have the opportunity to embrace our new “normal,” instead of choosing to reject it. We have the opportunity to start this new chapter of our lives on the right foot, which means it may actually be a good time to start a new tradition.

It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just something new. It can be as spontaneous as going to the movies with friends one night to watch the worst reviewed film of the year. Or start a Christmas potluck and show the world how good you are at making green bean casserole. Just remember, it’s a tradition, and that means you’ve got to keep at it, this year and the next.

Whatever tradition you start, turn it into a bookmark to celebrate the next chapter in your life, to passionately embrace the new “normal,” and to turn those holiday blues bright red and green.

-Dr. Kevin Gilliland, for the team at Innovation 360