The National Mental Health Association lists multiple reasons for why people feel sad, lonely or angry around the holidays. These can range from the stress of holiday pressures, financial challenges, family tensions, isolation and grief from the loss of a loved one.Let’s face it, 2010 was a very stressful year for many families. People from all walks of life report experiencing the symptoms of what is commonly called the “Holiday Blues.” In my experience, people who are recovering from an injury or coping with a chronic illness, often are feeling even more, lonely and isolated than usual and require more care and support at this time of year.In terms of rehab and recovery, our natural healing abilities may be inhibited by the way we are feeling. And if we are suffering from the holiday blues, it can make it more difficult for us to follow our physicians directives or participate in holiday activities.In the event you do encounter these difficulties, the tips below are designed to help you overcome them. Self-hypnosis, guided imagery, meditation and biofeedback help you shift your unhealthy perceptions and take charge of their thoughts, All are effective tools for beating the holiday blues.
Generally speaking, one of the reasons so many people experience the holiday blues is the gross commercialization of the holiday season. Others may feel more isolated and lonely during the holiday season simply because the holidays take them out of daily routine, giving them more time to think about how they are feeling about themselves, and their relationships. People who are confined to home or hospital, in pain or disabled, and suffer from seasonal upsets, are often dealing with more intense emotions and feelings of loneliness because in essence they are already isolated and feeling lonely. People who are recently divorced and those experiencing other types of loss or separation are also more vulnerable to being overwhelmed by seasonal blues.Many people coping with the holiday blues get caught up in excessive eating, drinking and drugging when they feel this way. I have found that simply reframing the way my clients view the holidays can be very helpful. Instead of focusing on their grief, loss and painful memories, I teach them to re-focus their attention on the opportunities that this time of year provides. The holiday season gives us an opportunity to consider renewing old relationships and a chance to start new relationships. Many clients have reported that getting involved with helping others really takes their minds off what is disturbing them. Other self-help strategies include:
Staying focused on the present or fantasying about the future
Starting a new project or hobby
Catching up on things that need to be done
Going out and being with people
Giving yourself permission to be with your unpleasant feelings until they fade away.
Before closing, I want to mention that many of my client’s have reported that normally when they think about their fond memories it is a pick-me-up but, at this time of the year these same memories often bring up feelings of loss and disappointment. I highly recommend focusing your attention on the present, or future, and using positive imagery to help your beat their holiday blues. One final tip:Now is an excellent time for you to begin formulating New Year’s resolutions. Once again, self-hypnosis and guided imagery-can help you reach goals and keep resolutions, Doing so is a sure fire way to stave off the post-Holiday Blues. Just something to think about as the holiday season moves into high gear…For more info on how learning and practicing self-hypnosis can help you beat the Holiday Blues
In addition to his private practice, Ellner, located in New York City, teaches continuing medical education courses on stress management, hypnotic theory and hypnotic pain relief techniques to doctors, dentists, nurses and therapists for PAINWeek, a major annual medical conference. He also conducts webinars for radiologists, internists, psychiatrists, ophthalmologists, cardiologists, plastic surgeons and doctors for ExecSense, the world’s leading webinar publisher for medical professionals. Ellner: michaelellner@verizon .net Phone: +1-212-580-3471 Websites: web: nycanxietyhypnosis .com