As we go into this time of year, with most of us looking forward to our holidays, Christmas and big New year’s celebrations, we are reminded that this is, as it has been affectionately dubbed, ‘the festive season.’
We should never forget though, or be insensitive to the fact that this is, for many, a time that is anything but festive and can be difficult or even quite traumatic. As a Trauma Rehabilitation Facilitator, I have helped numerous clients to come to terms with the emotional upheaval they may feel in this season. This could emanate from sadness around being alone or just no longer spending this time with as much family as you used to.
Many will have suffered larger trauma’s around the holiday season too like divorce, departing from your home country or the death of loved ones. There is something about this time of year, when all around you are celebrating, that seems to bring these feelings flooding back and you can feel more alone than ever.
One other issue that traumatises people in this ‘season to be jolly’ is the discomfort of family issues, whether visiting them away from home or having them invade yours! All these traumas are normally simply a part of daily life but this time of year just seems to magnify them many times over.
Here then are a few ways that I believe may help you to cope with trauma over the festive season…
Don’t change anything more than you have to when going through this period, especially the things that you like to do and that keep you grounded. Those who care about you should understand that you need your usual time out for exercise, maintaining your normal sleep patterns as much as possible, and all the things that give you peace of mind. Continue to do things that take your mind off other things, like reading, and the sporting activities you like.
Whatever you do, don’t turn to drugs, clinical or otherwise, or alcohol to drown your sorrows. If this means being more moderate and avoiding too many parties then do this. It is very important to say ‘no’’ when others are trying to draw you out of your comfort zone. People will understand – and talking of that, gravitate towards the people that care about you and who do understand. Never underestimate the value of a support system.
Don’t have too many expectations of having a really happy time, but also don’t allow yourself to dwell on your grief. There is a middle ground and it is all about focussing on caring for others who care about you – and being kind to yourself…
Ask for help – and help others
if your cause of sadness is being alone at this time of year, then volunteer to help others. Be part of a group that is taking Christmas cheer to others and you’ll be amazed at how good this makes you feel.
Most importantly, whatever your trauma, talk to me and let me help. Even if you have left it too late for this year don’t carry these feelings into another year, because come this time next year they will start all over again.
Through my business ‘Self and More’ and specifically through TRE and other forms of trauma release techniques, I can help you to cope with trauma over the festive season – and beyond!
Be safe – and be kind to yourself. To all my valued clients, thanks for your support throughout the year and have a blessed Christmas and a life-fulfilling new year.