Why Do the Holidays Cause So Much Pain?

Down for the holidays

As a child I remember the Christmas holiday meant no school, no homework, sleeping in late, watching TV and playing with my friends. As a child I really enjoyed the Christmas and New Year celebrations as I’m sure most children did. As an adult I have many fond memories of how simple life was back then. Not so much now!

As an adult I see the holidays so differently. Over the years I have experienced the reality that often times the holidays remind me of the pain associated with divorce, separation, loved ones who have moved away, and the passing of friends and family. There are many reasons why Christmas and the New Year holiday haunt so many of us. We cherish wonderful thoughts of family gatherings around the dinner table or opening our gifts from others. The seasonal music, the colorful lights on the Christmas tree, the decorations in a neighbor’s front yard and Christmas dinner with all the trimmings can bring back sweet memories of yesteryear. Then there are the memories of those we have loved – grandparents; an aunt or an uncle; a beloved mother and father; a brother or sister and maybe even a dear friend. The smiles, joy, laughter and the hugs given and received remain in our hearts forever. They never fade away.

When special people come into our lives we try to keep those memories alive and want to savor them forever! Unfortunately for some this is where the problems begin. There are those who cannot let go of the memories of days gone by. Their memories are all they have and they hang on to them for dear life. We all do, but yet when life becomes dark and dreary where do the memories take you especially during the holidays? Just like you, I have many fond memories with my family, but also have many sad ones as well.

I’ll never forget the Christmas when my now ex-wife returned the one and only Christmas gift she had given me back to the store! Those memories still haunt me! Over the years I have had people share with me all kinds of stories about the heartache they experienced and the unpleasant memories they still have around the Christmas season. I’ve known people have been served divorce papers during what should be the happiest time of the year. Other families I know have experienced permanently damaged relationships, the passing of a loved one and in some cases, no resources to buy Christmas gifts for their children.

The question many ask is “How do I deal with the past and focus on the future?” One of the best things to do is start creating new memories. Look forward to what is new rather than looking back at the way it “used to be”. It’s ok to keep the fond memories of those whom you have loved and have departed close to your heart. Now think about how to start a new tradition that will keep those memories alive. My suggestion is to start by helping others in need. Find a family who doesn’t have the resources to provide gifts for their children and take them shopping with you or surprise them with a gift card! Another suggestion is to make dinner for an elderly shut-in and dine with them on Christmas Day. These two suggestions are really simple and will make a difference in your life as well as the lives of others! Staying busy during the holidays and bringing joy to others will ultimately bring joy to you! These acts of kindness will heal the hurt and loss from your past and will help you move on as you help others. Think about the wonderful memories you are creating for them – and for you! They will have something to look back on and will remember you for your kindness and generosity.

The holidays are almost here. Do you fear being alone during the holidays? Do you miss your family and cannot be with them this season? Do you need someone to help you through these tough times? Do you need support to make it through the holidays?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, call Dr. Mike and schedule a free consultation. He has helped many individuals with holiday loneliness and can help you too!

Dr. Michael Brooks is the founder of Applicable Life Coaching and Counseling Services. His services are affordable, accessible, anonymous and available by appointment from the privacy of your own home. To avoid travel time and the comfort of home, many clients prefer to meet with Dr. Mike over the phone or via Skype. The convenience of this type of coaching is the most effective means of Life Coaching and counseling for those who live out of the Denver-metro area. Give Dr. Mike a call! You’ll be glad you did!

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