Walk Away from Those Holiday Blues

The holidays can be tough for many people, especially when you feel like you’re completely alone in the world and are constantly surrounded by reminders of family traditions and people in love—things that might be lacking in your current stage of life.

For some, the holidays are a time to relax, celebrate, and enjoy precious moments with family members and loved ones. For others, though, it can be a season of painful memories and perpetual feelings of loneliness. Even in your darkest times, though, there are still many reasons to be thankful and many ways to try to cheer yourself up, even if it’s just a little bit.

Holiday movies: Either commit hardcore, or avoid them altogether.
Sometimes, holiday movies can make you feel better. The Grinch (the one with Jim Carrey) and Home Alone (also Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, but stop after that one) are always great options of feel-good movies with a little bit of laughter tacked on there, too. And who can count out Christmas Vacation? That’s a classic for sure. If you’re feeling way too single, it might be best to steer clear of movies like The Holiday or essentially any Hallmark or Netflix Christmas romance flick. While they are the perfect amount of cheesy goodness, they also might tug at some heart strings that you don’t want to mess with right now.

Treat yo’ self.
Go get a pedicure or manicure or even a nice massage at a spa. You deserve to pamper yourself every once in a while, and a good time to do so is when you’re feeling down. Or take yourself on a date to dinner and a movie (follow the guidelines above regarding holiday movies, though). Another option is to treat yourself to a nice carriage ride to look at Christmas lights (if that’s an option in your area). Sure, it might remind you that you’re the only one in the carriage, but it’s also a good way to declare to yourself that you are worth a carriage ride, regardless of your relationship status, and you are strong and independent enough to take that adventure on your own.

Plan a trip or short getaway.
Depending on what your financial situation is, a short break from the ordinary could be just what you need. Whether you take an actual vacation and go someplace far away or just venture to a town closer to where you live, stepping outside of your day-to-day world is therapeutic and often healing for your heart and soul.

Send Christmas cards to those who are dear to your heart.
I love when people send me Christmas cards. It reminds me that people care about me and thought about me when they were putting together their lists. Years ago, I decided that my lack of husband and children wasn’t going to stop me from being a part of such a fun holiday tradition. Each year, I try to find something new and creative to do to put on a card, and then I print them out at CVS or Walgreens and mail them to all of my people. It’s now one of my favorite annual traditions! My life is mine to live, and I’m not going to let anything get in the way of that.

While these activities won’t make all of your problems go away, they might help just a little and soften the pain of what can truly be a difficult season for many people. Just remember that, even though it doesn’t always feel like it around this time of year, you are valued and loved, and you matter more than you realize. You are special, and you are a gift.

Be brave enough to believe that and live in that truth each and every day.

Some Doors Need to Close


Letting go certainly isn’t always easy, no matter how simple Elsa makes it seem.

There are definitive moments and situations in our lives in which I think we know that we need to let go of certain things—or certain people—but, for whatever our reasons are, we cling so tightly to them that it’s as if we’ll never let go. Whether it’s fear or uncertainty or the thought of having to endure pain that we don’t think our hearts can handle, we simply can’t walk away from what we’ve known and become comfortable with for so long.

The truth is, though, that some doors in our lives truly do need to close completely in order for us to be able to press forward to what is waiting for us ahead.

I’ll be one of the first people to admit that it’s sometimes difficult for me to let a door I really want to stay open close all of the way. There was a guy in my life a couple of years ago who caused me more pain than I knew my heart was capable of bearing, and if I’m being perfectly honest, I’m still not completely over him or mended from that pain. It hurts thinking about him and thinking about everything that happened (and didn’t happen). For far too long, I tried to hold on to something that wasn’t there—I tried to keep the door cracked open, even just slightly.

But then I let it close, and I walked through a brighter one that allowed me to be where I am today.

Had I not let him go and let that door finally shut, I don’t know if I ever would have moved to California. I don’t know if I would have taken that leap of faith to pack up my entire life and driven across the country to a place where I knew zero people. You know what, though? It was hands down the best decision I’ve ever made. I know that God called me out here with purpose and intention, and I know that I needed to go through everything that I did in order to get here.

God wasn’t putting me through heartache in order to cause me pain—He was leading me through a dark time so that I would walk boldly through a new door full of unexpected opportunities and more joy and love in my heart than I ever thought possible.

Yes, change is scary. No, it’s not easy to let go. But I want you to believe this one thing right here and now: YOU CAN DO THE HARD THINGS. You can turn and walk away from something you don’t need in your life. You can let go of what you know you shouldn’t be holding on to any longer. You can endure the pain that you’ll feel when one of the chapters in your life finally ends.

And you can boldly march through that new door that is full of unexpected opportunities and more joy and love in your heart than you ever thought possible.

It’s not always easy to slam a door completely closed, especially if your heart still wants it open, even just a little. But, if it’s not meant to stay open, I truly believe that God will continue to change your heart until you’re able to let it close completely. He will continue to mend your heart and prepare it for what He has in store for you.

And it will be so much more wonderful than you could ever imagine.

Make Time for the Holidays: Be a Kid Again

I love Halloween. I have absolutely adored it ever since I was a child. I’m the type of person who begins picking out next year’s costume on November 1.

That said, I definitely struggled during those odd teen years around Halloween time. Was I supposed to go trick-or-treating? Was it OK to buy those Leg Avenue costumes if they didn’t look overly scandalous on my short 14-year-old frame? There were a lot of questions—and, honestly, that lasted up until last year for me at 23 years old when I finally decided to go all out on a costume for the first time in years.

I have a very kid-like mentality toward holidays. Holidays, in my opinion, are supposed to be fun. I’m talking plastic reindeer covering the yard, fake bunny footprints in the yard, kiddy Valentine’s Day cards, and holiday Spotify playlists. The older we get, the more complicated life seems to become, so I find it so odd that, on top of becoming complicated adults, we lose our childlike joy when it comes to holidays.

Your level of enthusiasm depends on your own personality, but don’t get so lost in the “I have to be cool” mentality or the “I’m just too busy” mindset that you forget to enjoy the holidays that you loved as a kid.

We grow up so fast. Slow down, and enjoy life. If you want to go trick-or-treating, grab some friends, or join a younger family member. If you want to dress up as an obscure character or reference but fear no one will know who you are, just do it. Dress up is dress up. You don’t need to be the 10th Wonder Woman at the Halloween party—and, that said, if you want to be Wonder Woman but fear too many others will have that costume, just go for it! Life is too short not to make such silly and fun decisions.

Last year, after years of living hours away from close family and friends, I threw a Halloween party from some of those friends. I bought decorations, made way too much food, and spent way too much on costumes my husband and I will probably never wear again. But I had a blast planning it, and I had a blast hosting it. It is one of my fondest memories of the last couple of years.

This year, my husband and I are once again far away from those friends and family. There’s really not anyone to dress up for. There are no parties for us to go to. But we’re going to make the most of it. We’ve planned and made costumes for ourselves and our dog. We’ve put up the Halloween decorations left from last year’s party, and we are for sure going have a blast handing out candy to kids while settling in for another year of watching Hocus Pocus and Hotel Transylvania (we aren’t really scary movie type of people).

If something means a lot to you, make sure that you make the most of it—even when it seems like there’s no point. If it will make you happy, just enjoy it. Don’t worry if it’s too childish or uncool.

Life is far too short not to enjoy one night of silly fun. Enjoy the excuse to be a kid again.




 

Don’t Waste Your Time Waiting


I don’t know about you, but I’m usually not a fan of waiting for things to happen.

Unfortunately, though, waiting is a part of life that we have to deal with on a regular basis—we wait for food at restaurants when we’re reaching the point of hangry, we wait to hear back from colleges or potential employers after we’ve submitted applications and résumés, we wait for replies to emails and texts when we need answers, and we wait for lights to turn green as we rush off to the various places we need to be.

Sometimes waiting is natural, and we don’t really think much about it because we have so many other things going on at the same time. In other situations, though, we become less active in our waiting and essentially spend too much time waiting—not so much in anticipation but often in worry that what we’re waiting for might not happen—wasting precious moments that we could actually be enjoying.

And this seems to be especially true when it comes to guys.

What is it about waiting for a reply to a text message that gets our heads spinning and our hearts pining? Those letters that form words on a screen suddenly become so essential to our very beings, and we wait very impatiently, wondering whether those guys have read the texts and are waiting the standard 10-minute minimum (or is that just a girl thing?) before replying, haven’t even seen them yet, or (the worst one possible) already read our carefully crafted texts and simply haven’t cared enough to respond.

It’s so non-dramatically emotionally draining.

To be perfectly honest, I should probably be embarrassed by how much time I’ve spent wondering what some guy I think is really special is going to say back to me, only later to realize that he really wasn’t as wonderful as I had hoped and imagined, and his replies were essentially a waste of my eye strength. For instance, I once texted a guy to see if he wanted to go watch a football game on a Friday night with me because I thought that would be something fun. I sent the text and then waited. And waited. And waited. And then the panic set in.

Why hasn’t he responded yet?
Did I try too hard to be funny but was stupid, instead?
Should I not have sent it?
I need to go crawl into a hole and hide forever.

Like I said, none of this is dramatic at all.

You know what that fella I fancied so much said back to me? That he had to stay home and do chores. On a Friday night. As a 26-year-old who lives alone and can do chores whenever he wants.

Talk about a complete waste of time waiting on that one.

We wait and wait and worry about the silliest things sometimes when we really could simply enjoy the things right in front of us so much more than we already do. Rather than agonizing over a mere text I had sent and what the guy would say back, I could have just sent it and not worried about it so that I could channel my energy toward more important matters—you know, like if I was more in the mood for a chicken sandwich or a cheeseburger for dinner.

Whether we like it or not, we are going to have to wait at different times in our lives. But waiting doesn’t have to be such a huge world-stopping thing. Seek to enjoy those moments or long periods when you’re waiting, especially if you know what you’re waiting for is worth every single second.

Just make sure you don’t miss out on the wonderful things happening right before you because you’re too busy waiting during your times of waiting.

 

When was a time you had to wait on something and spent too much time just waiting?

Have you ever been a victim of the dreaded waiting-for-a-text-from-a-crush situation?

We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below!

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