COPING WITH DECEMBER
December is here. For many of us, it is not always easy to celebrate. What is “supposed” to be a time of relaxation and connection can end up being really tough. Our relationship with ourselves and others can be tested. Here’s why I think this can be a difficult time of year and how we can better cope with December time.
It’s (not) the most wonderful time of the year
I find that December can be really hard for each of us in uniquely personal ways. We may attend year-end functions at work where the hardest parts of our day-to-day grind are not acknowledged. The personal sacrifices we have made over the year may be glossed over by our superiors and our colleagues. We can be invited to family events where old family dynamics that may longer serve us are entrenched. Similarly, we may be drawn into conflicted conversations that seem irreconcilable. Maybe, we take leave only to find ourselves staring right in the face of relationships that need work. Perhaps we’ve been too busy or distracted over the year to notice. It is also the time when we make the most comparisons and feel the most alone. Meanwhile everyone else seems to be surrounded by pleasure, people and parties.
Happy New Year (?)
On top of this, 2020 is just around the corner. We begin to reflect upon all the changes we want to make. After that, we may beat ourselves up for not making the changes sooner. We identify exactly how we’ve fallen behind on our big plans. As we say goodbye to another year, what we’ve lost along the way is highlighted. We can be hit with another wave of mourning. We remember people we’ve lost, the parts of ourselves that we’ve left behind, and relationships that are no longer ours to claim. It can be hard to face a new year with energy and excitement while we are still carrying the weight of the past.
Overall, the weight of the world’s expectations for cheer and celebration over December is excessive. For me, December represents a time when I reflect and begin to face hard truths. Then, I decide what to do with them as I move forward. While the world may ask me to cover up my struggles with a shiny red bow, I use this time as an opportunity for authenticity. Here’s how:
I am honest about my experiences.
I celebrate my wins and own my losses.
I have hard conversations about finding the balance between what I need and what is expected of me.
I feel my feelings.
I try not to compare.
I am gentle with myself.
I mourn all the things I didn’t get to do this year.
I celebrate the things I did.
And then I try really hard to let go and leave the things behind that didn’t serve me well this past year.
My wish for you is that you can do the same.