The holidays are a busy time. They’re also an emotional time. Whether you are touched by adoption or not, the holidays can be a reminder of both happiness and loss. As such, many birth parents find the holiday season to be a particularly difficult one. Is there any way around it? Or is it just a given?
I think that knowing the holidays can be emotional for just about anyone should be our first clue to the fact that this is a normal and possibly expected response. As such, is there anything (at all!) that we can do to better prepare ourselves for the season at hand? Of course.
1. Schedule a therapy appointment. With these last two weeks before Christmas being hectic, my guess is that someone is going to cancel with your normal therapist. Call and see if there is an opening which you can claim. Perhaps you feel okay right now. Schedule it anyway. It won’t hurt to talk about the issues at hand. Furthermore, if you do not yet have a therapist, consider looking for one.
2. If you have contact and the ability to send cards or gifts, get on that right now. There’s something about preparing a package or signing a card that brings emotions together; the happy with the sad. Reminding yourself of the happiness is important at this point in time.
3. Don’t forget to do something nice for yourself. Schedule a pedicure or buy yourself something nice while shopping for everyone else. It’s allowed, trust me. We so often forget to take care of ourselves when our schedules get hectic. Don’t allow that to happen to you this year. Make yourself a priority. Doing so will help you deal with the emotions of the season.
4. Cry. The strongest among us pride themselves in never crying. But doing so can be the emotional release that you need at times. If you need to cry, do so. There’s no pride in holding back your emotions just because the world deems it to be stronger. In fact, it takes strength to let yourself cry.
5. Be happy! Sometimes we get caught up in the negative emotions of whatever we’re feeling. I am willing to be that there is some happiness in your life. Allow yourself to celebrate those joys as well. Nothing is ever completely one-sided. Recognize the points of joy in your life at this time.
Do you have any ways to deal with big emotions during the holidays? Please share them with us.