Dorie L. Griggs

Are the Holidays 'Happy' for You?

By Dorie L. Griggs
First Published in Southern Newspaper Publishers Association eBulletin
December 24, 2003

The holidays -- from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day -- seem to revolve around warm fuzzy family reunions and joyful holiday traditions. Stories about people reaching out to others seem to be the theme this time of year. But reporting these kinds of stories can be tough for people who have strained family relations or who have lost a family member or close friend. You are not alone if you find the time between Halloween and January 1 full of emotional ups and downs. If this is a tough time of year for you emotionally, here are a few suggestions to help you through:

• Reframe routines and rituals to fit your current situation.

• Don't try to live up to someone else's idea of what should happen at the holidays.

• If you are used to lots of people around during the holidays and now find it is only you, reach out to your friends and co-workers, chances are they would enjoy the company too. You may find celebrating with fewer people has its rewards, too.

• Find a charitable organization you believe in and volunteer. You may build a new social group.

• If you grew up in a faith community, this is a great time of year to reconnect with them.

• Remember to be kind to yourself.

If you are fortunate enough to have positive memories and feelings this time of year remember to reach out to others around you. Be tolerant when someone isn't interested in sharing your excitement for the holidays.

The information provided in this column is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice.

Dorie L. Griggs holds a Master of Divinity degree and her ministry is to journalists. Contact her via e-mail:

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