Happy December, Dahlings—it is that time of year when everything feels magical. Some are a little kinder, others are hopeful, and some cope. We struggle with sadness, grief, worry, or maybe all three. But December is here, regardless of where we are or what we are feeling or dealing with. And that means it is getting closer to the end of 2022.
I look forward to this time of the year—it is my favorite. Some of my best childhood memories [the few I do remember] are of the Holidays with my family. While I still believe in the unparalleled magic of Christmas and swooned as I drove down Fifth Avenue last night, I am struggling with sadness. But still, I am looking forward to fully immersing myself in the quintessential New York City [NYC] holiday moments.
We are not dedicating a theme.
At BKLS, we choose a dedicated theme each month. It gives us direction on what to share, and it gives you a sense of what to expect for the month ahead. This month, however, I have decided not to have a theme. Sometimes it is nice to flow, and I feel like this December is all about the flow of things.
But we will be sharing.
- For the month ahead, we will be sharing gift guides for those special people in your lives,
- places to immerse yourself in the magical moments of Christmas in NYC,
- our list of places to dine this December and so much more.
- And towards the end of December, I will share how I am getting ready twenty twenty-three.
Check in on your strongest friends or reach out for help if needed.
Although this time is quite magical, there is a great expectation of happiness during the holidays. But unfortunately, the experience of great stress, anxiety, and deep depression are common to experience. If you are experiencing any of those things, reach out to a friend or family member, and do not try to cope alone. And if you are experiencing a sense of sadness like me, please take time to cry. And express your feelings [even if it is just in your diary]. Do not force yourself to be happy; let the feelings come and stay for a while.
Here is what I am doing
I am excited about December and the magic it brings. But on December eight, my dear dad would have celebrated his sixty-ninth birthday. It breaks my heart that I will be placing flowers at his gravesite instead of calling or seeing him for his birthday. And so, I planned to manage my grief and not sink into more profound sadness.
These are my tips for navigating the holidays
Take a breather
I take time for myself whenever I need it, even if I am in the middle of something. I am reading, writing in my diary, and stopping throughout the day to do breathing exercises—all of these things restore my calmness.
It is the Holidays, but I have to face the fact that every day will not be Christmas for me. So I am accepting that I may have bad days and good ones. And some days, I may want to stay in bed and cry, which is okay.
Acknowledging my feelings
I have never been anything but strong. And the truth is I no longer want to be the strong one, the one who figures everything out and does everything. So on some days, I am overcome with grief; on others, I am crying in the car at the stop light; on different days, I can not express the deep sadness and loneliness I feel. But I understand that it is normal to feel grief and sorrow. It is okay to cry and not to feel happy just because it is the Holidays.
I am doing everything to treat myself better by being kinder, forgiving, considerate, and giving myself grace.
I have not gotten here, but I have it on my list. Some days I feel isolated and lonely; if I ever feel an overwhelming sense of loneliness and isolation, I know my family is there. There are many community organizations and hotlines. So for you, it may be family and friends.
This has been a bit challenging in some situations for me, but I am working through it. I keep reminding myself, “I love myself and matter to myself more than anyone else.” Do not be afraid to say no if you do not want to participate in any holiday events and activities. Say NO to anyone who lacks compassion and empathy for you during this challenging season in your life. And say NO to anyone being unkind to you—you do not need that negativity in your life, especially now. Ask yourself if you really loved yourself, would you allow someone to treat you in any way?
Seek the help of a professional if you need it
I am keeping up with my scheduled sessions with my Therapist [I missed last week’s and felt overwhelmed without that support]. So find a Licensed Therapist or Church counselor.
Maybe this should have been an entirely different article, but it came out here, so I shared it. And if you are experiencing sadness, anxiety, or depression, I hope this helps.
I wish you and yours a fabulous and magical December. I believe in the magic of goodness, kindness, and miracles—Cheers to you experiencing all that magic.