brief upper

Before I set off into day two of a meeting marathon, I had to share this little tidbit from my e-mail inbox…

I get this daily digest called “Emotional Health.” I can’t remember where I found it, or why I subscribed, but something must have piqued my interest. Anyway, today’s feature story was called, “10 Things to Do If You’re Alone for the Holidays.” And while I know I won’t be alone for Christmas, I figured maybe I could read what I should’ve been doing Thanksgiving weekend instead of sleeping too much and drinking Cape Cods.

Now, my assumption was that point #1 would be something like “Bake three dozen cookies and distribute them to elderly neighbors.” Instead, here’s what it said:

1. De-mythologize and adjust expectations. Elaine Rodino, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist in Santa Monica, Calif., says there are so many categories of expectations about the season being just right that it brings up all sorts of issues relating to family, stress and anxiety, eating disorders, sobriety, self-esteem, competency — the list goes on. “There’s this idea that it’s supposed to be perfect, and if it’s not, the person asks, ‘What’s wrong with me?'” She adds that statistically, the number of “traditional households” in this country is not in the majority.

Wow. So uplifting. #2-8 were mostly positive, though not particularly specific or helpful to me—count your blessings, create an alternative family, etc.—but then #10 brought us back around to that big ol’ fuzzy hug feeling we had going from the start:

10. Get through the day. If you’re unable to do any of these things, Rodino tells her patients to just get through it. Read. Sleep. Rent a video. And remember, tomorrow it’ll all be over.

I guess I wasn’t that heartbroken about spending the Thanksgiving holiday without my family after all. Now, the thing is, I would say this list is more for people who maybe have lost loved ones recently and are spending their first holiday season without said loved ones. But there’s no mention of that in the article.

That’s all for now!

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