Dr. Jacqueline B. Sallade offers ideas for maintaining your mental health.
Around Thanksgiving, I also thought and wrote about all those people who look at images of picture-perfect, happy familites celebrating their holiday and feel unhappily removed from all that joy. Now, those thoughts prevail, again. All the Christmas media and lore encourage expectations of love, joy and sharing, so that the romantically-deprived, the sick of body or heart, the disappointed in relationships or in self hurt all the more. Single, lonely people without family may pretend it's just another day, like a Sunday in which lots of businesses and offices are closed. Many folks may go through the motions of gifting and eating, thanking and sharing empty-hearted, as if in a sad dream.
To all these people, one of whom I've been here and there, I say, try something different. Consider helping someone less fortunate, volunteering at a shelter, church dinner or soup kitchen. Or you could go out for Chinese with Jewish people. Treat yourself to a vacation or even just a movie, a communion with local nature or with music at home. Do a project, like building, painting, cleaning, or writing something you've been meaning to get to. Even if you choose to sulk alone or pretend with whomever you're with and make the best of it, be alive mentally. Comfort yourself and give yourself hope for the future. Decide to do something different in the coming year to better yourself and your life. Take the opportunity to grow