For some, the holiday season is magical, with twinkling lights and brightly wrapped gifts.
For others it is a sacred & holy time, rich with religious tradition and liturgy.
And then there are those for whom the season is tender, a reminder of what is no more, filled with heavy emotion. Perhaps that is you, perhaps it is someone you know. Keep reading for 3 ways to Be in the Blue this season.
I pulled out the Christmas decorations last Saturday.
Just writing that sentence feels heavy. It's like no other words want to come.
I lugged the components of my artificial Christmas tree in-doors, stacking them gingerly and crossing my fingers that the lights would all work. They did.
I found the tree skirt and tied it at the base. I unpacked the ornaments and placed them carefully around the tree. I tried not to clump the same color in one spot, or leave any areas bare.
Christmas music was playing in the background; cheery, familiar tunes of Joy to the World, Deck the Halls and Santa Baby.
My daughter was delighted and flitted in and out of the living room. Sometimes she added ornaments to the tree, sometimes she just twirled with joy at the twinkling lights or chimed in with the music.
I would pause and just gaze at her, remembering times I've embodied the joy of the season.
Which happens to not be this one.
This season I feel tender and teary.
I am present to the loss of my partner and bonus children due to divorce. Each decoration and ornament carries the weight of memory...where it came from, where we used to place it, even silly arguments about whether or not we should still use it.
Traditional holiday music sounds different in my ears, this year. Hollow. Empty.
I grieve the cozy softness and warmth of a house full of delighted hearts anticipating the bliss of Christmas day gifts and general merriment of the month.
I grieve being held and loved.
This is not a comfortable place to be...for the one feeling it, or anyone witnessing it. It is so counter-cultural and can feel like nails on a chalkboard.
You might want to say to yourself or someone else, "JUST BE HAPPY!" You might have even noticed some ideas in your brain about how I could perk myself up.
"It could be so easy," you might think.
It could be. But that isn't where the gift of the Holiday Blues lie.
The gift lies in allowing the Blues to simply Be. No need to change anything, no need to force anything. The Blues will come and go like waves of grief, because that is what the Holiday Blues are: embodied grief. It is healthy and supportive to allow the waves to wash over us, whenever and however they arise. They will. And then they will recede.
The darkness will not last forever. As Victor Hugo has said, "Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise."
3 ways to Be in the Blue this Season:
I Feel Blue
1. Give yourself permission to feel what you are feeling.
I personally love the song Christmas Makes Me Cry, by Kacey Musgraves. Sometimes I put it on repeat and just let my emotions wash over me.
2. Reach out to a trusted someone and let them know it is a tender time for you.
Allow them to hold you (energetically, emotionally, spiritually) and be a reminder that you are not alone during this season. If there is a way they can be present with you, let them know, from going for a walk with you, to sending you a text message when you pop into their mind. Don't wait for someone to guess that you are having a difficult time, speak up and be a stand for your own heart by asking others to be there for you.
3. Participate in a Blue Christmas or Blue Holiday service, recognizing the reality that it isn't always tinsel and fa-la-la.
Check out your local church or spiritual center or even Google "Blue Christmas Service near me." Here is an example of what such a service can sound like.
Someone I Know is Feeling Blue
1. Reach out and let them know you are thinking about them.
Drop a card in the mail or light a candle in their honor. Be available if they need to talk.
2. Allow them to feel what they are feeling, without making them right or wrong or needing to be any other way.
You can literally just sit with them. You don't have to say or do anything to make it "better." Your presence is powerful and speaks volumes where words just fall flat.
3. Witness them where they are.
Resist trying to cheer someone up or make them feel better. The Holiday Blues are not bad or wrong. They do not indicate anything is broken or needs to be fixed. They are part of our human condition as we experience grief around the holidays. It is okay to simply witness the experience of someone feeling this way. You can even say, "I really get that you are feeling grief right now. I see you. Your experience matters."
“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” - Victor Hugo
Rachel Sartori is an Embodiment and Wholeness Coach. She is kick-ass and heart-centered whether she is showing up as a workshop/retreat facilitator, a private coach, a writer or a speaker. Rachel invites you to exercise your soul, and participate in the healing of your own heart and the world around you. With Rachel, all is welcome, all the time.
Read: Exercise Your Soul: Ignite Healing and Wholeness in your Life and Live from the Inside Out