As we said yesterday, it’s okay to feel down this time of year in spite of what friends, loved ones, Hallmark movies, and advertisers may tell you. We discussed a few things you can do to take care of yourself if you’re feeling down. Here’s another tip to keep in mind:
The important thing is to not isolate yourself.
Phases of solitude are not the same as isolation. Solitude is stepping away from people and the world for a period with the intention of returning to it at some point, feeling refreshed. It can be meditative, a way to reconnect with yourself. It can help you get a handle on where you are in life and it can give you the space and peace to work on a new project or take your life in a new direction.
Isolation, on the other hand, is shutting yourself off from people with the intention of severing ties and connections either mentally, emotionally, or physically, or some combination of these. It’s usually motivated by hurt so it’s natural to want to step out of the stream of life in order to heal. But it becomes unhealthy when you stay there.
If you’re feeling really down, more so than what you feel is natural or normal for yourself, please contact a professional or someone who’s trained to help those in distress or crisis:
~contact your religious leader or spiritual advisor;
~contact a counselor or therapist;
~contact a health care professional;
~call a prayer line;
~call a crisis hotline;
~meet with a trusted and compassionate friend or loved one.
But if you’re feeling out of sorts, then here are a few suggestions of where you can go and what you can do to stay connected but not have the pressure of interacting with others:
~Sit in a coffee shop and sip a beverage of your choice;
~Go to your local library. Read the newspaper, a magazine, or a book;
~Attend a group event such as your town’s tree lighting ceremony or the carol sing or the annual snowman making contest;
~At this time of year, churches usually host special concerts that are open to the public and are often free;
~Civic organizations sponsor fundraisers this time of year such as pasta dinners or pancake breakfasts–why not give one a try!
~My favorite thing to do: drive around different neighborhoods and enjoy the lights and decorations on people’s homes.
Try one of these suggestions to help yourself stay in touch. Let me know which one worked best for you–or if you’ve come up with your own. Thanks!
Your Friend and Pep Pal,