It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Right? For some, the holiday season is a time to be anticipated. It’s a time for family, friends, celebrations, and thankfulness. Christmas carols boast of joy, love, cheer, family traditions and light hearts. This, however, is not the reality for some. The holiday season can be a time of extreme stress, exacerbated loneliness, depression, anxiety, and even grief. To make matters worse and the burden heavier, the holidays are also a time during which people tend to compare their lives to those around them, magnifying and compounding those negative feelings. Here are some important tips and reminders for those who struggle during the holiday season:
1. Consider creating new traditions for yourself if the old ones aren’t working.
2. Surround yourself with people who may be in a similar mindset during the holidays and need like-minded friendship and support. Focus on connecting with others even if it is not by conventional means. Avoid isolation and disconnection.
3. Recognize and accept your feelings without judgement. You are absolutely not alone. Be gentle with yourself and go out of your way to avoid potential triggers even if that means declining certain invitations.
4. Prioritize your self-care. Remember, the holiday season is just that: a season. If this time of year is particularly difficult for you, remember it will pass.
Written by Nicole Geddie – Graduate Student in Mental Health Counseling