Beating the Year-End Blues
by Talayah Stovall
It is that time of year again - time for turkey eating, eggnog drinking and overall holiday cheer. It is the time of year when we show love to those people who are important in our lives and give thanks for our many blessings. Many of us will get caught up in all of the rich, caloric indulgences, the gift buying and the social gatherings that are guaranteed to occur. During this time, people find that there is more focus on relationships than at any other time of the year. And, that can be a mixed blessing.
For those who have a significant other, it is often a time of quiet moments to renew your love. For those with children, it might mean extending the budget a bit to accommodate those lovely trinkets that will light up the eyes of your little darling. For those who are not in a relationship, the holiday season often includes social activities with friends and extended family.
But often, we feel something is lacking in our lives even in the midst of all the merriment. For some of us, it means the holiday blues as we reflect on the past year and the things we might not have accomplished - the extra 20 pounds we didn't lose, the relationship that didn't materialize, the house we didn't buy. It is important for us, during those times of reflection, to acknowledge and appreciate all of the blessings - health, friendship, family, food and shelter - that have been heaped upon us.
Whatever your romantic relationship status, take the time to express love and appreciation for those who have played important roles in your life. Go a step beyond, and extend that warmth to people you know (or don't know) who might be alone during the holidays or whose Christmas stockings might be a bit emptier than yours. Helping those in need is a beautiful way for us to "pay forward" the love that God has shown to us.
A helpful exercise would be to actually list the things, from A to Z, that we are grateful for and/or the ways in which we can show love to others. Some tips to get you started:
A - The air that flows through our lungs daily without us even thinking about it. The ability to breathe, clean air is something we often take for granted.
B - Our daily bread. Few of us have the problem of wondering where our next meal will come from. In fact, most of us have the opposite problem - we ingest an abundance of food, often to our physical detriment. Take the time to consider helping to feed those who are less fortunate during the holidays, and perhaps even engaging in a short fast to detoxify your body and strengthen your relationship with God - which is the most important relationship in our lives.
C - Courage. Many of us have faced things that would have made others cower in fear. Yet, with faith and courage, we persevere through the storms of life, knowing that going "through" a valley means just that. We know that we will come out, stronger, on the other side.
Continue your list until you have written something for each letter of the alphabet (feel free to check the dictionary for help with "q" and "z"), then start on your A - Z list of how you can extend yourselves to others. You'll find that focusing more on your "haves" and less on your "have nots" will make you more appreciative of what God has blessed you with.
For all of us, married or single, the holidays should be a time of reflection, of giving thanks to God for his wonderful purpose in our lives and for looking forward to a fresh, new beginning. The end of the year is the perfect time to reflect on the things that are positive in one's life - family, friends, health - and to refocus on your goals for the coming year.
It is an exciting time to create a new beginning. Each new year provides a clean slate with new opportunities and a chance for greater focus on one's goals. Here's to a happy and prosperous holiday season!
About the AuthorTalayah G. Stovall, Pres., TGrace, is an author, keynote speaker, radio host, life purpose coach and Managing Director of Vision Catalyst Consulting. For information on speaking or coaching, as well as her motivational audio CDs, "P.U.M.P. It UP! and 7 Secrets to Ignite Your Dreams, her book, Crossing the Threshold: Opening Your Door to Successful Relationships, eBook, 150 Important Questions You Should Ask Before You Say "I Do", or newsletter "EmPOWERed to...", please visit http://www.talayahstovall.com. Use Your Passion to Tap Into Your Purpose with Talayah G. Stovall, Author, Speaker, Life Purpose Coach