For some, the holidays are especially painful. Unfulfilled longings, hurtful memories, losses, fear, failings, or loneliness can seem magnified during this season.
Here are some ideas for lessening your pain. I know you may not feel the least bit motivated to do any of them, but I triple-dog-dare-you to try one or more anyway.
Call a local nursing home or hospital right now and ask if you can visit. Grab some candy or cookies and spend some time visiting lonely, hurting people. Ask them to share their stories. Listen attentively.
Call someone you know is lonely and chat.
Google and visit a neighborhood with great Christmas lights. Drive there with a radio station playing Christmas music. Bonus points for inviting a friend or neighbor.
Read the Gospel of John or Luke.
Write God a letter telling Him everything that's bothering you--blunt and uncensored--and then prayerfully burn it, giving it all to God.
Write yourself a love letter, or write a love letter to the person you're missing.
Write God a thank you note listing a minimum of ten items for which you’re grateful.
Take a walk in a pretty place.
Sing at least three Christmas carols at the top of your lungs. It's proven to make you feel better!
Go to an open door church--Catholic churches are often open--and find an inviting spot where you can sit and pray or simply contemplate Jesus. Light a candle.
Google and attend a candlelight or midnight church service.
Watch "It's a Wonderful Life." Cry as needed.
If you get desperate, please reach out for help. Call 988 to talk to someone. Whatever you're feeling right now, will pass. It will! Promise!