Well, Christmas has come and gone now. I must admit, I was fairly apprehensive about the day leading up to it. My family is incredibly into traditions, so we've done Christmas pretty much the exact same way for the last 2 decades. However, due to a set of very unfortunate circumstances, we were not able to celebrate Christmas the way we normally do. As a counselor, I understand that mentally the way to deal with this is to initiate some positive thinking, and challenge the cognitive distortions that I so quickly say to myself (This will be a miserable Christmas, there's no way we can have fun, it's terrible, etc...). We each easily distort reality, which makes things far worse and miserable for ourselves. So, I started telling myself I would have a good Christmas. It was unfortunate that we couldn't celebrate the way we normally do, but it can still be fun. And guess what?
I HAD A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS! It was an absolutely wonderful day. We stayed in our pjs until dinner, opened gifts really slowly, enjoying the time we had as a family. The Christmas lights, snow outside, and the fire roaring in the fireplace created a beautiful ambiance, and the day was filled with laughter and joking. Had I not challenged those cognitive distortions, the day would not have been nearly as fun. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the day. I still wish that the set of circumstances had not occurred, but I'm thankful for the wonderful day with family that I had. And I have to say, because I was so aware of my thoughts, I think this was the most healthy Christmas I've ever had!
I hope that each of you, my readers, had a wonderful day with your family and friends. Remember to fight those cognitive distortions that can so easily take over and put us in a grouchy mood:) Merry Christmas.