Christmas can be a wonderful time of celebration, but it can also be a time of stress, depression and grief. Here are some tips to help with the holidays:
Know that you are not alone. While much of what we hear and see about Christmas is joy, happiness and love, there are many who are experiencing grief, sadness, depression and loss. You are not alone in feeling this. It is okay to feel these emotions. You may not be the only one who is trying to survive Christmas.
Learn to say no. It is okay to not participate in everything you are invited to. It is okay to celebrate a smaller Christmas with fewer people, if that is what you need. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Don’t force yourself to be up to what you have done in past years. Give yourself permission to celebrate in the way that best suits your needs and wants.
Recognize your emotions. Many people have recently lost loved ones, or are mourning the memory of loved ones, it is alright to feel grief and sadness at this time of year. Take time for your emotions, allow yourself to feel sad, to cry, to express your feelings. Don’t try to force yourself to be up for everyone and everything, happy is not the only acceptable emotion at Christmas.
Take a break. It is okay to take time for yourself. It has been shown that a break alone of as little as fifteen minutes can sometimes revive you enough to continue. Find a quiet corner, go outside for a walk, listen to relaxing music, read a book, meditate. Do something that allows you to acknowledge your emotions, clear your mind, and give you a moment to yourself.
Reach out. This can be a lonely time of year, many feel isolated. If you don’t have family or friends to reach out to, contact local community organizations. Volunteer your time may help fill your time while bringing light to others who may have mixed emotions about the holidays. If you have friends and/or family, reach out to them, be honest about your emotions, maybe they have similar experiences that they aren’t sharing.