The Reality of Holiday Loneliness and Depression

The Reality of Holiday Loneliness and Depression

By Dr. Mary Starr Carter
While the holiday season is a joyous time of the year for many it can also be the worst time of the year for some. Instead of “I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus”, it may turn out to be like one of the book’s title written by Ann Hodgman called I saw mommy kicking Santa Claus!

There are many reasons why depression and loneliness are part of the holidays. The loss of job, missing a loved one, divorce or coping with an illness. All of these losses can bring grief instead of joy.

The loss of a spouse, parent, grandparent, child or good friend:
Losing a loved one means an empty seat at the special dinner and probably a missing link to the whole celebration. Many times the holiday season will have to take on a new direction and tradition. It is difficult to celebrate the season as before. Some people feel better by visiting the cemetery, lighting a special candle or journaling about it.

No matter how it is done, the truth is, emptiness and loneliness will still exist. The only way to cope is to have someone to talk to and embrace the sadness instead of dwelling deeper into depression or loneliness.

Maybe take a break from the old tradition. Keeping yourself busy throughout the holiday season by donating your time at a food bank, getting a seasonal job in retail, taking a cruise with a friend, or visit a relative out of state during the holiday instead of being at home. Break away from routine and familiarity and surround yourself with friends and family.
Your sadness may still be there but you may get great joy out of helping others and making them happy.

The loss of a job:
Losing a job means there is uncertainty and maybe a lack of funds for holiday giving and days ahead. It may be time to cut down on expenses and evaluate on the style of gift giving.

Friends of mind lost their sole income in October several years ago and were destitute by Christmas.  Although their basics needs were paid for there was no money for gifts.  They gave the kids beautifully wrapped boxes with a whole in the top.  All year long they would write down any time God blessed them or something good happened in their life and the following year they would open them.  Although the kids were not thrilled at first the boxes became a huge reminder of gratitude and blessing.  The family was blessed over and over that year and the following Christmas they loved opening their boxes and reading all the good things that happened to them the following year.

Divorce or children moving out:
Through the years we have created memories with our spouse and children. A divorce or children moving away with their own families can leave you with loneliness and misery. Just like losing a loved one be sure to fill your time with things you love, caring for others or caring for yourself.

Military family with loved ones serving overseas:
During the holiday season a military spouse may struggle with challenges of loneliness, fear and worry. They have to do everything to create a happy holiday celebration for the children without their spouse. That burden   is a very difficult one and should not be carried alone. If possible ask for help from your family and friends with anything you need. Join support groups and seek out help if you need it.

Feelings of loss and loneliness can be very dark place to stay.  Using essential oils can help uplift your moods during those lonely times and throughout the year.

One of my favorite essential oils is Joy.  Joy inhaled more than 10 times a day or diffused several times a day in your environment can truly improve your outlook.  See when you inhale a pure therapeutic essential oil like Young Living’s Joy oil it goes directly to the part of the brain called your limbic center or “emotion center”.  Inhalation therapy is one of the quickest ways to change your “stinking thinking”.

Here is Peggy Nederlof story about Joy oil.
Last year I experienced depression and felt comatose. It was so unlike me. I heard about the blend Joy and started to palm inhalate it. Within 10 minutes I started to feel better. I continued to use Joy multiple times during the day, and within 2-3 days, I felt as though I could take action and move away from my depression. It was very powerful. 

I then started to use Valor every morning on my feet and added that to my routine of breathing in Joy. After a week, I felt so much more balanced that I no longer felt depressed or needed to use Joy as much. Valor is now my go-to oil to start my day.

Finally, dealing with grief, loss, and loneliness, does take some courage to face the day.  I agree with Peggy starting your day with Valor is a great way to start and end your day as well as use throughout the day if you need it.

Take 3-6 drops of Valor (depending on the size of your feet) and rub the oil on your feet and hold there for a minute.  Do the same thing for your shoulders and chest .   Follow with Joy…..  aghhh I just took a break while writing this and not only do I feel clearer in my thinking but definitely uplifted too!

Try it and see what you think.  Remember if you feel you have a serious depression or feelings of suicide please seek competent medical advise, if you don’t feel like you are getting answers keep searching.

We look forward to hearing your stories. Please leave your comments below.

Dr. Mary Starr Carter is known as the Total Wellness Doc. She has been training individuals about Natural Health Solutions for over 13 years. She is trained as a Chiropractor and has studied under the world’s foremost leaders in natural medicine. She is a mother and a wife and has created a balanced and total wellness life for herself and thousands of her clients using her simple wholistic approach to health and wellness. Her coaching, classes and ebooks help clients with Fibromyalgia, Hormone and Adrenal issues, Asthma, Diabetes, Weight problems, Thyroid and Chronic pain find resources and solutions to better health.

We publish newsletters and blogposts twice a week for our readers for general education purposes only. We cover topics that are related to achieving and maintaining total wellness which includes our emotional, physical, spiritual and financial health.

Tips for Staying Sane When Kids Leave For College

Editor's note:
Today my heart is hurting for several of my clients. This weekend they will become empty nesters saying goodbye to all their children as they go off to college. One amazing single mom has raised her three girls for the past 25 years. She, like many others is struggling through terrible grief. Today's article shares some strategies that will help many parents deal with that sadness. Written by my friend and colleague Jeannette Webb of Aiming Higher Consultants she knows your pain personally and has helped hundreds of parents and college bound children navigate the college admissions process.

 

Tips for Staying Sane When Kids Leave For College

By Jeannette Webb

While much of the world seems eager for their kids to grow up and get out of the house, I haven't found that to be the case for the families I know and work with.  In fact, many parents fight valiantly to ignore the ache in their heart that reaches a crescendo when their child leaves home for college.  It's not something many people talk about and even though we know it's going to be difficult, the utter desolation can threaten to overwhelm a parent when the day finally comes. 

I was totally unprepared for the depth of my grief when my oldest left home. 

Fortunately, I had a dear friend ahead of me on the journey and she shared some strategies that made things bearable.

1. Make some physical changes

There are many ways to implement this, but let me give you an example.  Families who are close usually place a high priority on sharing meals together.  That is a wonderful habit that can cause great pain when there is an empty place at the table.  My friend told me firmly to get rid of that empty space. 

Since, we are a family of four and dine at a round table that just fits us, I moved from my usual seat and sat in my son's seat and placed a centerpiece in my old spot.  I removed his chair to storage.  It totally changed my vantage point and I wasn't seeing his empty place or his unoccupied chair.

When my daughter left home, I shoved the table up against the wall, moved her chair to storage and set out two placemats at the two remaining chairs with a centerpiece in the center. 

2. Remove reminders

Sometimes it's the little things that can bring tears.  I realized, after crying a few times in the shower, that my daughter's shampoo and other "shower stuff" was still in place even though she wasn't.  I took it all out and stored it out of sight in a cabinet where it would be waiting for her return. 

I kept catching sight of my gloomy self in the large mirror she uses for violin practice in the living room.  It got moved to her bedroom and no longer serves as a reminder that she isn't there practicing.

3. Stay interruptible

Life stays busy even after kids leave home, but it is imperative that you stay available for them.  Our kids are going through an even greater adjustment than we are and if we are too busy to talk when they call, they will eventually quit calling at all.  My kids and I have grown even closer through their college years because I made it my priority to be there for them as they were navigating new things.  We've laughed and cried, shared successes and failure, and tightened the family bond while the cell phone minutes ticked away.  Trust me, it's worth the expense to avoid the consequences.   I've talked with moms who didn't make the time to be present for their young adults and then they couldn't figure out why the kid got into trouble at college.

4. Talk to people

Most parents going through the pain of kids leaving home assume they are the only ones suffering and so stay silent.  I recently had a conversation with an old friend and we discovered that we'd both battled tremendous grief over our children leaving home and had gone through it alone.  If we'd opened up, we could have planned special get-togethers to laugh over our high school pranks, go shopping, or anything to make it through.  But we wouldn't have had to face things alone.

If you are facing the empty nest this year, take steps to make life more bearable.  If you have friends who are facing it (even though you are not), invite them to lunch, give them reasons to laugh, and be there for them.  There is a reason Christians are instructed to do life together with other believers.

Editor's recommendation to reduce stress:

In addition I have to add that inhaling Young Living Essential oils like Citrus Fresh, Stress Away, Sacred Frankincense, Joy and Valor 10 or more times a day can give you a great sense of peace.  

 

Let us know what your thoughts. Please leave a comment in the comment section below.  

 

 

 

Jeannette Webb is the founder of Aiming Higher Consultants, a firm dedicated to helping Christian students gain admission to great colleges. She has a heart for assisting parents as they train their children for excellence. Jeannette works to empower families to make thoughtful choices for their younger children, to confidently navigate the difficult high school years, and then ace the college admissions process. If you liked today's issue, you'll love her personalized consulting services that help you map out a holistic plan for your student. While Jeannette is best known for her clear-sighted counseling, her clients feel that her biggest gift to their family was permission to be themselves.
 

We publish newsletters and blogposts twice a week for our readers for general education purposes only. We cover topics that are related to achieving and maintaining total wellness which includes our emotional, physical, spiritual and financial health.

Depression: Putting Yourself Last Causes Depression

Depression: Putting Yourself Last Causes Depression

By Angela Brooks

Most women are doing too much, expecting too much, influenced by crap and were never taught to take care of themselves. As a mom of two handsome young men, I am guilty for putting myself last in taking care of myself and making plans for my own personal growth.

Guilt sets in when plans are made without the boys or my husband involved, feeling as if I am selfishly taken time away from my family. When in fact – when I do invest in myself, I give them a happier, better mom and wife.

Over the years women have been taught and some expected to take care of the children, the household chores,, the meals, errands for the household, take children to their activities. Plus in today's average families, also work a full 40 hour a week job. No wonder so many women are worn out, out of shape and depressed.

Unresolved anger, and fear cause women to drop out of the game and let their own needs go without realizing how it is making them feel. After taking care of a full plate of everyone else's needs they give the excuse of being too tired or it is to late. It becomes a form of self abuse, almost as if they are the sacrifice for everyone else to succeed.

Putting Yourself Last Causes Depression

Expecting yourself to fill the shoes of wonder mom leaves you feeling empty and frustrated. Magazines and Television show moms with a baby on their hip, dressed for business, talking on the phone and smiling. The real truth in – one person cannot do it all without burn out.

Very few women are taught how to take care of themselves; most are influenced with so much crap the focus is taken away from their own health and needs. Leaving mom agitated and tired.

When I began my home business, I was working full time at night, multi-tasking on very little sleep. Attending the boys activities and not taken any time away from the rush of the daily events for me. I began falling apart at the seams and stayed frustrated. I pulled back and had to make a decision quick before mom popped like a balloon. Investing into my own personal growth, exercising – education for my business and branching out to a whole new outlook. I began to change how I was thinking.

After returning from a mastermind event with a group of talented women it shifted my thinking about me and my business – My husband gave me the best compliment I could ever have received. "You have a new business and I have a new wife." The smile had returned to my face. I felt happier than I have been in a long time.

Why? Because I took time for me and my dream.

Women need to step out of the dirty laundry room and re-discover who they are. Over the years, as I observe and listen to not only the patients at the hospital, but the nurses on the unit as well. Frustration is a common conversation around the water cooler. A lot of women feel that when they have children and get married all their dreams have to be placed on the back burner or forgotten. Within a few short years or working in robot mode – people begin to see a changed person.

Who Am I?

I always think about the older lady who came to the hospital, whom for 30 plus years had served her husband and her children. She ran the household like a business. When her husband came home from work one day and told her it was over. She was devastated. She had no idea who she was without the role she had lived for all of those years. She had lost herself taking care of her family. To her surprise she had a serious wakeup call on her life. Who am I?

Don't wait until you're so worn out, out of shape, depressed before you start living. When you live a full life those around you will benefit from your new joy. Stop worrying about not being enough, or what people will think, (I mean who really cares anyway), forget the rejection, no one will notice if your clothes are ironed or your hair is perfect. When you give others your control, you're allowing them to determine yourself worth. Start a journal today and you will amaze yourself what you will learn about YOU.

About the writer:

Angela Brooks is a leading distributor of Young Living Essential Oils. Dedicated to natural health solutions, Brooks provides people with healing alternatives without harsh side effects. Additionally, Brooks is a mental health nurse committed to bringing mental happiness to the nursing profession by motivating and supporting nurses around the country.

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We publish newsletters and blogposts twice a week for our readers for general education purposes only. We cover topics that are related to achieving and maintaining total wellness which includes our emotional, physical, spiritual and financial health.