From mid-November until the beginning of every new year – New Year’s Day, we find ourselves caught up in the ‘hype’ of the holidays. The anxiety begins…
First we have to prepare for Thanksgiving Day whether we are cooking that big Thanksgiving dinner at our house for ourselves and inviting others, or we are going to someone else’s house and have to prepare and bring “a little something” there. The anxiety starts before Thanksgiving Day when we think about having to go to the dreaded supermarket to buy the turkey, ham, stuffing, all the other ‘fixings’ and baking ingredients or the desserts already made. Once we’ve had a successful shopping trip in the overly crowded food store, we then have to think about all of the food preparing. Of course we have to remember to start thawing out the frozen turkey about 3 days before Thanksgiving Day. With everything we have to prepare and then cook, timing is everything. The goal is to have all the food done at the same time and still hot when it’s time to serve it all. I remember that my mother used to wake up about 4:00-5:00 A.M. every Thanksgiving morning to just put the turkey in the oven, since it took the longest to cook. The cook can finally breathe again when everyone is seated at the table and each and every food item is served successfully. ” Bon appetit and compliments to the cook!” Time to clean up.
As a Christian I often wish we were given much more time between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Those 4 weeks maximum in-between seem to go buy much too fast. I usually plan on starting in October all of those 80-100 Christmas cards I send each year. It takes me quite some time to get each one ready because I type a personal note in each one. I also enclose at least one picture in each one – wallet size or larger that I print out and cut myself. Starting my cards in October never happens. Then as Christians we have to start thinking about Christmas shopping. For others there’s gift giving for Hanukkah, or Kwanza to start thinking about. Buying what for who and possibly first asking what each person does. The latter I never do. When it comes to gift buying not only do we struggle with having to find the right gift for each person, but once again we have to battle the crowded stores. Which day is a good day to go shopping? I think everyone tries to think in the same way. From the day after Thanksgiving until our specific holiday, there’s never a ‘good’ time to go shopping. I refuse to be a part of the very early Black Friday shopping commotion, so as a Christian I have at least 20 other days to choose from to go shopping. No matter what day(s) I choose to shop, the parking lots and stores are always packed and crowded. Inside the stores we all need patience as we wait on the long checkout lines. Does it pay to do all our holiday shopping at once, or on individual days? I’m not sure; it depends on how each individual shopper feels. For me, I hate having to carry around lots of heavy bags in those stores that don’t have shopping carts. I like to have a list of a few stores I’ll go to, on several days out – usually just once a week. Hopefully all of our holiday shopping will be done with some time left before the “big day.”
Some people decorate their homes, inside and outside with holiday decorations.
Once again there’s a big holiday dinner to think about. Maybe two, if you celebrate Christmas Eve too. Whether we’re eating at our own home, or someone else’s, we’re back to all the anxiety we had for the Thanksgiving dinner I described in my first paragraph above. Shopping for all the food and then preparing it. ” Bon appetit and compliments to the cook!”
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day comes and goes. All the food has been eaten and all the gifts have been given and received. Time to clean up once again. We have just one week to relax in-between, before it’s New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Hopefully most people go to clubs on New Year’s Eve, but some do spend the Eve and/or New Year’s Day with friends and family in their home. More food preparations. More cleaning up.
We’re exhausted from over a whole month of holidays. We find the energy to take down and put away all of our holiday decorations.
One would think as we look ahead to the days and months to come, we look forward to all that time to relax and do pretty much nothing more than our everyday routines. Not necessarily so. I don’t like to socialize much and I still suffer with a ‘down’ feeling after all the holiday hustle and bustle is gone. I actually feel the emotional drop inside me. Outwardly, I may even look like I just lost my best friend. Even I have been asking myself, “Now what?”
What Causes That Down Feeling?
My psychotherapist says lack of stimulation is what causes that down feeling. It seems we get used to being stimulated during all these holidays. That makes sense.
What Can We Do To Ease That ‘Down’ Feeling After The Holidays?
One day at a time. Take one day at a time. Relax when you feel the need to. Take a nap, read a book, or watch television. Keep yourself busy – by doing things you enjoy to do, too. Do these things especially when you have that ‘down’ feeling. That feeling will dissipate. Most of us say we hate change, but we will often amaze ourselves with how easily we adjust to it. In time, we’ll get used to not having as much to do and not seeing people as often as we did, during the holidays. Before we know it, there will be something else we need to focus on. There always is.
Life goes on.