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You can choose to be in the holiday spirit, whatever the challenges, by Bob Vecchiotti

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Why is this holiday season different from the past? There are so many burdens and few opportunities to escape the daily challenges. Each person’s challenges are unique, from shrinking financial assets to COVID-19. Your list of challenges may be long or short, but inevitably they affect your holiday moods and feelings.

Within a normal holiday season many people border on depression and sadness. This year was continuously overwhelming. But there’s hope; holiday blahs are temporary. A COVID-19 vaccine is at hand, and you’re not alone with your hope.

It is also a time to cultivate a positive perspective, one that provides meaning and motivation. Create time to pause and reflect on the religious messages of the season. Joy and peace in its festive lights. Its encouraging songs and prayers. Its opportunity for some small gatherings of family and friends practicing the inside and outside CDC guidelines.

It is a time of giving and forgiveness, the things that break sadness and allow you to share a positive feeling with others. Acknowledging and sharing your circumstances are redeeming. Being realistic with expectations and plans for tomorrow provides a glimpse of what’s ahead.

There are messages of hope in the noise. Amplify them. Reach out to family and friends for encouragement as you move forward each day. You will be close to the freedom from the confinement of this pandemic. Stretch yourself as you look ahead beyond this year. Learn more about your strengths to overcome your weakness. Buy time, not things. Prepare yourself for how the next normal will be from this new hopeful perspective.

Within a month a new year begins. Will it start with burdens or hope? Now is the time to take a walk along your favorite peaceful path and enjoy the festive lights of Keene or the stars at night. Think about the new year as the opportunity to plan to use it well. Create your own next normal.

We live in a beautiful state by day and at night, when on a clear night you can see the stars that can accommodate all your wishes.

Have a blessed holiday season and be safe!

Bob Vecchiotti is a business psychologist, adviser and coach. He can be reached at 924 2012 and at

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