There are many different types of hangovers: alcohol-induced, emotional hangovers and, yes, holiday hangovers. You may think this is a ridiculous notion but bear with me, please. Think back to after Halloween, when everyone is getting ready for thanksgiving and big family dinners. Then comes Christmas , and with it, the New Year. Once January hits, BOOM, the depression hitting the internet and people’s lives all across the world can be seen setting. Why, you ask? My theory resides in the idea of the time of year itself.
There is nothing like the Holidays to make you feel all warm and fuzzy. Our feeds, from Facebook to Instagram, become riddled with photos of cute sweaters, warm cups of coffee and idyllic fall scenes as soon as the leaves begin to change. The thing about it is, not all of us live in such a picturesque environment and the constant barrage of posts and photos makes us feel like if we aren’t out there having the same kind of fun, our lives lack. Halloween is the gateway for all of this. Think back to your Instagram feed around that time of year. Everyone was getting creative and coming up with costumes. You naturally want to join in and be the Martha Stewart of Halloween, but you manage to carve a pumpkin half-assedly and barely make it through one horror movie before passing out on the sofa. Real life works that way. The fact that you didn’t go all out like your friends, families or social media feeds shouldn’t diminish your holiday spirit, but for so many people, it does. I have heard it come out of so many people’s mouths. If I can find the time to carve a pumpkin, let alone decorate the house, I feel like a superhero and I DON’T EVEN HAVE KIDS. Real life is demanding and it takes from us all something different.
This theory is applicable across the board into Thanksgiving and Christmas. Pinterest boards across the world come to life with recipes and table decor ideas focused around one of the biggest meals in our entire year. I say this only because I, too, am guilty. I have a food and cocktail board devoted to various ideas that I can whip up in a moment’s notice. I do not judge, I merely illustrate. So, here we all are trying our best to make a memorable meal for the ones we love, frantically leaning over our stoves across America while we desperately try to foster this feeling of togetherness amongst your family members, regardless of disputes. I do not mean to sound jaded, dear reader, but take the time to stop and watch it next year. I see the corporate greed eat up our money as we throw ourselves into the holidays each and every year. They capitalize on the idea that we seem to keep propagating (although I’m unsure why) that if it isn’t big and bold, it isn’t good enough. If you don’t cook a huge meal for your family, you aren’t living out your “best life” or, in this case, your “best Thanksgiving”. Nevermind the fact that millions of Americans have a hard time putting decent meals on their plates, but because Jane over here didn’t take the five hours needed to make her family a picture perfect meal shouldn’t mean that her life is lacking. But, like I said, for many people, it does.
Christmas is the same thing but turbo-charged. Giant trees, both real and fake, get thrown up on Black Friday and decorated with a variety of lights and baubles. Everyone is out buying presents and putting a price tag on their love and affection left and right. I work in the restaurant industry and watching it all happen from an outside perspective is terrifying on some level. There is a noticeable shift in people. think back to the year of ‘Tickle Me Elmo’ and you’ll really see what the populace is capable of. The point is, if you aren’t sipping hot cocoa by a roaring fire in your pajamas, you MUST be doing something wrong. The thing is, you aren’t.
That is not to say that there aren’t any positive things that happen around this time of year. We all come a little closer, as a people, at this time of year. Hearts are a little more forgiving and full of love, smiles are a little brighter and people seem to genuinely be full (for the most part) of holiday cheer. The music this time of year is upbeat and many classics from decades past come back to warm our hearts. This is also the time of year people get to spend with family they may not normally get to see, or perhaps you see each other once a week. Regardless, it feels more special this time of year, it’s practically palpable.
With all of these things being said, I still say there is something wrong and here’s why: we should be practicing these ideas of togetherness all year-long. The warm fuzzy feeling should last the entire year through. I don’t mean to come off as unrealistic, I know it can’t last ALL year long. The idea, though, is to be a little more giving all year and maybe not focus it so much on a specific time. Practice self-love more than just during the holidays, when so many of us spend time reflecting. Why, BECAUSE NEW YEARS IS RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER!!!
No holiday leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, but if one did, it would be this one. So many people begin to focus on what is wrong with their lives and with themselves and they then vow that “next year will be different”. I’ve touched on this before, but how do you think it gets that way? A mere statement of eventual happiness needs to be more than just that. there needs to be some action behind it. You want that job? Go get it! Find out what is stopping you and rise above it. Want to go on a trip? Save up the money and go. There’s always an excuse not to go, but it only takes one excuse to make it happen. You’re that excuse. Corny but true. However, I digress back to my original point: the holiday hangover.
We spend so much time borderline torturing ourselves with festivities that when they’re over, we feel empty or incomplete. It’s as if a light has been turned off and we are left there to sit alone in the dark. We get so addicted to the feelings that the holidays encourage that it feels like our lives lack without it. It’s like hitting a physical wall and we can oftentimes become depressed and sluggish. I’ve been there, we all have, and I think a genuine way to combat that is to employ a gratitude and love for the small things in our life YEAR ROUND. Saturate your life with as much love and happiness as possible that the holidays just seem like an old day because you are out there living it a day at a time. Be more present in the here and now, the future you want will come along with it. This is something I work towards and struggle with in my own life, but I’ve begun to see the crucial need for it for me to grow as an individual. If we all just spent more time being more focused on the here and now, life would be happier and more fulfilling as a whole. Remember, it isn’t about where you start, it’s just that you start.
One foot in front of the other. ♥