Be Merry & Be Gentle
The holidays are fast approaching.
I struggle with the holidays – and I know that many of my clients do, too. Every year I have clients who are inpatients at the hospital who can’t enjoy the holidays like they normally do with their family and friends. Other clients are trying their best to take treatment and therapy to recover from their injuries and have to contend with an interrupted treatment schedule during the holiday break. Yet other clients are about to go through the holidays for the first time without a loved one present.
The traffic on our roads are heavier. The stores are busier. Restaurants are fuller. The weather is increasingly a factor and many people are trying to navigate this time of year with less energy and less patience, which can sometimes be a dangerous combination.
I don’t have all the answers for how to make it through this time of the year. What I try to do is take one day at a time while being as patient as possible. I accept that I am not likely to get everything done that I want to do. And that’s alright because there are healthy limits on what any one person can accomplish at this time of the year.
But more than anything else, I try to be gentle with everyone I encounter. A kind word goes a long way. A note of encouragement can help someone get through a difficult challenge. I try to remember that more people than I realize are going through this time of year with a certain amount of unspoken dread and discomfort. It is for them, in particular, that I try to be gentle. The holidays always come around again. There will be other opportunities to experience them when circumstances have improved. It is the deepest embodiment of what these upcoming holidays are about to encourage, support and be hopeful for yourself – and for others. Being merry is not always possible at this time of year, but being gentle will help you get through it.
Give it a try.