We can get a lot of relief if we can be patient with who we are. If we can add a little kindness and friendship toward ourselves , we can think of feeling down as a cue to do something. Many of us, for example, don’t put ourselves on our own shopping list. It is not a bad idea to buy something that we really like for “us.” Or to do something special for ourselves.
The fact is that family life can be rough. We don’t need to sugarcoat or idealize our family life. If we can accept that things didn’t go well for us at times, it can lighten our holiday burden. If you have family-based wounds, resolve to work on them. The past is not behind us, it’s in us.
Sometimes looking in the mirror and winking and smiling at ourselves while acknowledging that being alive is both a wonderful and difficult experience can go a long way.
And starting Dec. 22, it gets lighter and brighter every day.
Dr. Jim Manganiello is a clinical psychologist and diplomate-level medical psychotherapist based in Groveland and West Boxford. He is also an author and teacher focusing on stress, personal growth, meditation and “inner fitness.” His book “Unshakable Certainty” is available on Amazon. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.drjimmanganiello.com.