Oh the holidays, the most wonderful time of the year… Maybe, but for some it can be one of the hardest periods of the year.
Family of origin issues can bring down the mood for any holiday event or even make going to such events impossible. It can be a lonely period because loved ones are missing as well. Whatever the reason, it can be a stressful time that doesn’t allow for healing or self-reflection.
Here are a few tips on making the holidays as stress free as possible.
1.) Go see your therapist. It might not seem obvious, but if you get low during this time frequently, it’s best to seek professional help. If you’re already seeing a therapist, telling them about your feelings can give you the support you need once the holidays hit. If not, therapy can be a great gift to yourself. Either way, it’s best to get a support system in place to help you navigate your emotions during this sometimes chaotic time.
2.) Self-Care. What’s the first thing to go when we get stressed or busy? It’s self-care. The number one thing to do to combat a low mood is giving back to yourself in various ways. It can be anything, too, from decorating to watching your favorite holiday film–the sky’s the limit, you just need to slow down some and give back to you.
3.) Boundaries. If you know you’ll see people who trigger you to relapse in anyway, you’ll need to lean into your boundaries and keep yourself safe. No one can force you to do anything you don’t want to, so if you don’t want to talk about having kids, politics, etc. then don’t. If you’re working with a therapist (or even close friends can help) try practicing a few one liners to prepare for the inevitable. That way you’ll be ready and feel more in control of the situation. With that said…
4.) It’s okay to say NO. You can turn down party invites, gatherings, or dinners. You can say no to a topic that’s come up. You can say no because it’s a complete sentence.
5.) Love. The holidays can feel very lonely. Gather the friends and family that honor and love you during the year. Focus an cultivating time with them and making new memories. It’s not always about love of others, but it can also be giving love to yourself. Self-Love is a gift, a bumpy road that has highs and lows. Use this time to reflect and create space for a roaring new year.
You have the power to make this holiday season a success–however that looks to you. If you need help finding a helping professional in your area or if you live in the Metro Atlanta area, please don’t hesitate to contact me here.
Happy Holidays to you and yours,