December 5, 2019
Once I realized my mental health is intricately connected to my success as a business owner, and spoiler alert, as a wife, sister, daughter, friend, and HUMAN, I intentionally work to become a healthier version of myself, and find little ways that help me hold onto hope.
I’ve begun learning triggers for my anxiety and depression, and have become proactive with guarding my heart and mind. One of the biggest catalyst for change in my life-both positively and negatively, was tragedy just before Thanksgiving. The holiday season is always bittersweet as my family remembers that time. As a business owner, I’m usually running on fumes by the time we get to the end of the year, so the combination of remnants of grief and pure exhaustion can easily serve as a trigger.
I’m not sure what this season represents to you every year or the new and unfamiliar territory you may be walking in, but I hope you find little glimmers of hope to hold on to. “Choose joy” can be such a defeating statement when your mind works against you, so I won’t tell you that. I’ll simply encourage you to search for moments of hope and put them in a freaking chokehold. Here is some encouragement from my coach, Dr. Emily Shupert:
It can be hard to express when going through challenging times, especially during the holiday season. Depression, anxiety and life transitions have a way of kicking the wind out of us and leaving us without any extra energy to search for signs of silver linings. When going through our own “dark night of the soul,” sadness can be even more pronounced during what we think should be a happy holiday season.
Even in the sadness, the emptiness, the loneliness, you have a choice – I have a choice; we all have a choice. We can choose to focus on what is lacking and lose ourselves in the endless comparison game through social media, holiday parties, and perfect family pictures. Or we can choose to fight back to find happiness. The journey to happiness begins with accepting what is and what is not, allowing this season to be enough.
During a low season in my own journey, I read Margaret Feinburg’s book, Fight Back With Joy. In her memoir of her battle with cancer, from diagnosis to remission, she learned how to experience happiness most fully when most people would have felt defeated and despondent.
“Create your own permission slip for joy. Write three words: Accept. Adapt. Depend. Carry this permission slip with you. Tell your friends you’re working on becoming more content/ more joyful. Take a nap. Live with a messy house for a time. Order takeout. File an extension on your taxes. Stare out the window. Linger in the company of a friend. Breathe in the fullness of life. Use those words to fight back with joy.”Margaret Feinburg
Maybe this season is a happy one, maybe not. You might want to hit the snooze button until Jan 2nd so you can get through the painful moments and memories. Perhaps life looks a bit different than it did in years past and you’ve woken up with more questions than answers. Whatever you are facing, we want to remind you that happiness is always a choice, a better, braver, and bolder choice that we are committed to choose too.
This December, I encourage you to hold onto hope, even if it’s only faint and feels foreign. In the imperfect, unstable, and unknown parts of this season, we hope you fight for and find happiness. We hope that you are able to see that you are, it is and we are all, in process and it is ok. Lean in, press onward, let’s make this the happiest holidays we’ve had yet!”
Cheers to you, sweet friends! You’re doing the best you can.