Coping With the Holidays

Whether you’re dealing with going home for the holidays, memories of lost loved ones, or depressive symptoms due to the season, this time of year can be rough for some of us.

This is the first time, since 2017, that I’m single for the holidays. I won’t sit here and tell you I’m not struggling with this but I also won’t sit here and act like I’m torn to pieces about it. I knew this time of year would be hard for me, it usually is. Dealing with mental illness on top of loss is challenging. That being said, I have a plan for how I will care for myself this holiday season.

If you’re struggling to cope with the holidays, I’ve listed a few tips that might help.

  • Meditate. Acknowledge and sit with your feelings. Give yourself time to deal with any thoughts or feelings that arise during this time of the year.
  • Journal. Write about any thoughts or feelings that you’re having.
  • Create boundaries and feel free to say no. Don’t think just because it’s a holiday, you’re obligated to go certain places or be around certain people. If there’s something you’re not willing to do, say no.
  • Get support. Talk with someone about what you’re going through. Also know this is not something you have to go through alone.
  • Take care of yourself. Self-care, self-care, self-care! Sometimes depression sweeps in and we neglect ourselves. Remember to do tasks such as washing up and brushing your teeth. If you’re spending time alone, find something you love doing.
  • Mourn the loss of a loved one. If you’re struggling with loss, it’s ok to grieve. Acknowledge how things feel without this person and do something in memory of your loved one. Grieving looks different for everyone.
  • Remember to breathe. Most times we forget how important taking a few breaths is. Breathing can help to release tension in our body.
  • Create a coping skills or self-care box. Fill your box with items that will help you during the holiday.
  • Practice gratitude. During tough moments, we tend to forget to be grateful. Take 5-10 minutes before starting your day to practice gratitude by focusing on what you have and what you’re grateful for.
  • Use music. Music is not only a way to connect with your feelings it’s also a great distraction.

Regardless of whether you’re getting together with family or spending time by yourself, the most important takeaway is to take care of yourself.

I hope you all have a peaceful holiday!

Photo by Rodion Kutsaev on Unsplash

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