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I don’t know about you, but for me this holiday can bring with it an enormous amount of stress.  For many, Christmas is supposed to be a time for festivities, family, friends, jolliness, gift giving, love and the REAL reason for the season.  Yet, stress, depression, and loneliness are, for some of us, unwanted gifts this time of year.

These feelings appear in many ways.  For example, the pressure to select and buy gifts for family, friends, co-workers and others can be stressful and costly. The amount of mental and emotional energy we put into each selection can be overwhelming, and make us feel like, “what’s the use”? 

Deciding not to give gifts can bring feelings of guilt, even if we feel deeply about not giving them, and/or if we are unable to afford them. As a result, the pressure to conform closes in on us, so what do we do?

Loneliness, depression, and isolation during this holiday can weigh heavily on us too.  Often those of us who are single feel it the most.  We are saddened at the sight of a family enjoying the season and reminded of our aloneness. Maybe we feel that we have no friends, family, and/or significant other, and feel an enormous emptiness inside.  

Family conflicts, job challenges, and money issues are also avenues for negative feelings during this season, especially with the accompanying pressures all around us.

What can we do, and how can we avoid negative feelings this year? How can we create a better experience for ourselves? What would it be like to have an experience that is meaningful, transforming, and one that alters our thinking permanently? If our current experience is ok, how can we make it even better?

I warmly invite you to join me in this activity.  We will create a new experience together.

Ready? Ok, now, get your cup of tea, curl up in a comfy chair, with pen and paper, and make time to answer these questions.

Let’s begin with deep breaths, a relaxed state, and a commitment to try something new.   You must make room for the “new” by letting go of the “old”.  Now, write the answers. . .       

1.       What do I REALLY want to experience during the holidays?

2.       What will this experience do for me? 

3.       How will it make me feel?

4.       What are the benefits of this experience to me, to others?

5.       Brainstorm a long list, no matter how unrealistic (until I can’t write anymore), of ways that I can create this experience.

6.       Go back through the list and mark the ones I could do.

7.       What am I willing to do?

8.       What will really support me in doing this?

9.       What will it be like when I have this experience?

10.     What are my First, Second and Third steps?

11.      When will I begin?

12.     What does creating a new holiday experience for myself say about me?

Finally, as you are out there, whenever you catch yourself (and try to, many times during the day), ask, how can I make this more enjoyable and meaningful.

When we are more fully present in our own experience, we have far more to offer others.

My wish for you this season is that you will create a meaningful, transforming, and lasting experience for yourself.

Peace & Many, Many Blessings to You!  Patricia 

Copyright & Permission Copyright © 2006-7 All rights reserved.  Please feel free to share these articles, as long as this copyright notice, author and website is included. Author is Patricia Eslava Vessey, Integrity Coaching & Training Systems    Thank You!