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The Next 33 Days

How was your Thanksgiving? I hope you enjoyed a wonderful day with people who love you. I hope you came home relaxed and happy. And I hope you are eagerly looking forward to the rest of the year, expecting joy and laughter and wonderful gifts to be given and received,

And are you looking forward to the next 33 days with joy? The gift shopping and buying and wrapping, the gatherings with family and friends to give the gifts away, eat a variety of traditional food, then the wrapping, returning, exchanging?

Or are you tired, just thinking about it? Making changes and apologies for this and that? Just feeling tired and empty?

Are you feeling this deep well of sadness? Like you cannot wait for the year to be over, but if next year is like this one……………………

Feeling this wy is normal for many of us. If we have had sad or abusive, painful holiday seasons in the past, those memories may come up to hurt us again. And the memories that could have been called happy seem to get stuck in the patterns of grief and sadness. Everyone around us being so joyful and excited just makes our sadness feel worse.

And everywhere sings joy-joy-joy and spend-spend-spend while our hearts are heavy and our wallets are empty.

Please know that you are not alone. Many people struggle with the whole holiday season. Let yourself feel whatever you feel. Accept the sad and sorrowful feelings without negative judgments or self-condemnation.

Take extra special care of yourself in this time. What do you really need? What would comfort you, heal you, and rest your spirit? Honor your own needs. That may mean saying no to what some people want us to do for or with them; or changes in what we buy for them. It may mean negotiating changes in traditional activities or foods.

For these thirty-three days, put yourself in a safe spot emotionally. Put yourself first for thirty-three days and see how that feels. Focus on nourishing the body, clearing the mind, soothing the spirit

Reach out to those you trust will respond with love. Talk to a trusted friend or relative, to a therapist or counselor, to your dietitian or sponsor. Let them help you send the hurt away. Spend more time with people who understand and accept you as you are. Talk about your lost loved one, enjoy the good memories and release the difficult times.

Simplify what you can. Think about shopping online instead of at crowded malls. Plan ahead; ask questions of your friends or relatives so you know what to expect.

Don’t allow yourself to over schedule. Leave a party or event early if you feel tired or uncomfortable. Plan ahead; find out what foods are available; take the food you need with you. Often a big fruit or vegetable platter is a welcome gift for a hostess. Take your own car so you can leave early if you need to, or stay later if you want to.

Stay in the present moment; notice the evergreen smell, listen to the tinkling bells, the light of the candles. Allow yourself extra rest time, extra time alone, time to do the things that nurture you.

Can you feel gratitude for anything or anyone? Say thank you.

Above all, allow yourself to feel the love of your Higher Power and other people; know that you are a person of value and you deserve to be loved and cherished.

Look for things you want to do and will enjoy. Find a new good book, go to a holiday show, pick up a craft project, have a long talk with a good friend, pet a kitten. Or clean and organize (and maybe toss half of) a pile of things that is bothering you. Then have a good nap.

And have a few serious chats with your Higher Power. Again, ask for what you need. Listen carefully. Feel the love.

And may these next thirty-three days be a sacred transitional time for you, filled with love, laughter, hope and joy.

Blessings to you,


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