The Sadness of Holidays

By on December 12, 2011

By Linda Menesez –

Do you ever walk down neighborhood streets at night, and think about the warm glowing scenes you see through the uncovered windows? I do! I like to imagine the happiness inside those homes! Sometimes, though, that isn’t the reality contained within. Particularly at holidays, the scene can look festive, but the feelings inside people aren’t joyous.

When I was a very young child, I read the Hans Christian Andersen story, “The Little Match Girl.” It formed such an image in my mind, that it’s never left me! I think about that cold, lonely, little girl, and the magical happiness she found when she struck the matches, and saw the scenes that warmed her heart, if not her body.

Do you feel like you’re separated from the happiness that everyone else seems to be feeling during the holidays? Do you feel like you’re on the outside looking in towards the warm glow others are feeling?

There can so often be a profound, loneliness, a deep sadness, during this time of year! The feeling of pain can be almost palpable! There you are missing those loved ones, who through death, distance, or misunderstanding are not close by. You long to reach out to them, and feel the warmth of their smile, their touch, but you can’t. It can feel like you’re so alone with your sorrow.

Honor the depth of your feelings, and the meaningfulness of who, and what, you’re missing. Allow yourself to remember the good times, the laughter, the warmth of your mutual caring. Acknowledge the sadness and your wish to be together again. What you’re feeling is honest and natural. There’s nothing wrong with grieving a loss.

Then follow your internal wisdom. What do you need to help you feel better, once you have allowed yourself to feel your sadness? Do you need to get quiet within yourself and be with your feelings some more? Do you need to “talk” with God, or your loved one, through prayer or meditation? Do you need to write about what you’re feeling in a journal or diary? Do you need to call a friend or family member to connect and feel less alone? Is there anything that has helped you in the past, when you’ve felt alone and sad?

If none of these help, and you are truly feeling the heaviness of your sorrow, please call a professional for support and guidance during this difficult time. Don’t stay trapped in your sadness! There are people who care, and they can only help if they know you need them.

About Linda Menesez

Linda Menesez, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.: I’m a Santa Barbara counselor, helping busy people learn ways to lower their stress and improve their overall quality of life. I specialize in empowering women, who focus too much on the needs of others, to recognize the value of self-care and nurturing for better mind, body, and spirit wellness. Her website: http://www.counselinginsb.com/.

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The Sadness of Holidays