I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! It truly is the most wonderful time of the year, but can bring about mixed feelings for some.
I love Christmas, but the season seems to mess with my sleep. I don’t usually give it much thought, but I did pay better attention this year. About two weeks before Christmas my sleep went to shit; something I haven’t had much trouble with for months.
My boyfriend (Is that even a term when one is over 50?) said I should go to the doctor and see if there was an underlying issue, but I’m stubborn and didn’t. I told him I’d see how it went after Christmas, and if the horrible sleep persisted I’d make an appointment.
Here it is, the 29th of December, and I’m almost back on track for sleeping through the night (aside from the 3-4 am pee break). So the bottom line is, it most likely had everything to do with Christmas.
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I did invest in a weighted blanket, however, and that did seem to help to a degree. I also bought a box of Sleep Eze, of which I only took one. (I think taking it caused me more anxiety than the not sleeping, so I decided to just not bother taking another.)
This was the third Christmas without Ross, and I think that weighed a little heavier on my mind and heart than I realized. Holidays and special occasions are the hardest, because we spent so many together. I missed having him here to sample the baking, offer to open the presents early, and have an eggnog with. I didn’t even go for a drive to see the Christmas lights in town this year; something we did every year.
Things you can do.
If Christmas brings sadness to you, know you aren’t alone. In a time that’s supposed to be so happy, many people don’t realize that others are struggling just to get through it. It’s definitely a time of mixed emotions and feelings for so many people.
Admitting to others you’re sad isn’t a bad thing. Those who truly care will understand, and will be there with the extra hugs when you need them. It’s okay to have off days.
What isn’t okay is to think others will be better off without you. The holidays also find suicide rates increasing, because some individuals feel they have nothing to live for. If you’ve ever had suicidal thoughts, don’t keep them to yourself. Get the help you deserve, because the world just won’t be the same without you.
I’m not a doctor or trained in mental health issues, but I do know that reaching out to someone does help. Even if it’s just for company. You don’t have to talk about who you’re missing or what’s bothering you, but that does help. Chances are, the person you reach out to is missing someone too.
Journalling also helps, because it can bring thoughts and feelings into perspective. I personally have been lacking in my journalling, which I know isn’t the healthiest of things to do. It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of life, and not take the time to write down what’s going on behind the scenes.
Finding the good in each day has more power than you might think. Whether it’s a call from a friend, seeing the sunrise (or sunset), or simply getting through the day withoput having a meltdown. (Granted, meltdowns are what makes us stronger, but that’s just my humble opinion.) Practice gratitude and you’ll feel better as the days go on. And don’t just reserve gratitude for holidays; practice it each and every day.
Turn up the tunes. I don’t know about you, but I find some upbeat music lifts my spirits. I love my country music, but sometimes the mood calls for some 80’s rock or even some techno-shit (as a former co-worker put it). Even Christmas Carols can be fun when they’re sung by Boney M or the Irish Rovers.
As we get older our lives change, and we often lose those closest to us. It’s not easy by any means, but we need to do everything in our power to carry on for our kids, grandkids, family, and friends. Humans are complicated beings, and the older I get the more I see just how complicated we really are.
If the holidays and special occasions bring you down, talk to someone about it. Whether it’s a friend, family member, or trained professional, chances are you’ll feel better. And if you can ride out the storm, then you have become stronger than you were when it started.
You are special. You are important. And most of all, you are loved.