It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas now that the City’s Christmas tree has been lit at the Forum. Local shopping centers are all decorated with lights and Christmas music can be heard everywhere you go.
Signs of the holiday are not hard to find, but at this special time of year, there are those among us who are not feeling the Christmas spirit. For many, 2016 has been an especially hard year, and the pressure to be “merry” only serves to further aggravate their depression.
While I always seek to inspire people, I won’t make light of anyone’s personal struggles this time of year by trying to use clever clichés to magically erase the pain.
So here are my thoughts on how to navigate through the holiday season, and hopefully find joy no matter what you may be facing:
1. Allow more time to travel. Whether you are planning a trip or just trying to drive across town, be mindful that there are a lot of extra drivers on the road this time of year. In Inglewood, travelling might be even more challenging because of all the construction going on around the new stadium and train stations. It can be a real headache, so I suggest mapping out alternative routes if you can. You may want to check the websites at Metro or Google Maps, or try Uber instead. Try and get as many travel options as possible to alleviate stress.
2.Delegate, delegate, delegate. Preparing for the holidays is a big job. If you can, solicit the help of your family, friends or neighbors. See if you can trade or divide the chores, errands, shopping or other tasks. Don’t assume you have to do everything or no one else can do it as good as you can. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect.
3.Take mental health breaks whenever you can. If you feel yourself feeling sad because a loved one had passed, your financial situation is not good, or any other reasons, share your burden with a trusted friend or ally. Engaging in physical exercise, eating healthy and drinking more water can bring you surprise benefits. You may also want to curl up with a good book, block out a few hours and binge on watching your favorite TV shows, or take a nap.
If you or someone you know could benefit from mental health services, by all means, seek out this valuable help as soon as possible. These services are most likely covered by your health insurance. If you or someone you know feels suicidal, please call the national suicide prevention hotlines at (800) 784-2433 or (800) 273-8255.