The holidays can be a magical time for joy, family, and celebration. But for some the holidays can be a hard time filled with loneliness and disappointment. With the jingle of bells and the twinkle of lights, it's still important to take a minute and check in with yourself.
If you're feeling stressed out or down at all this holiday season, we want you to know that your feelings are valid. There is no one way to feel during this time, and with full (or maybe empty) calendars, gift buying, work deadlines, the first holiday without a loved one, or whatever else it may be, it is easy to get overwhelmed.
Please know that your mental health is important. Like, really really important.
It's easy to get caught up in all the holiday festivities, so be sure to take time to assess how you're doing. Remember that there is no "right" way to act during the holidays. You don't need to force any feelings or actions. Finding yourself lonely or down does not mean something is wrong with you.
If you've noticed that your calendar is suddenly filled with social gatherings and work deadlines, figure out what things are priority and what things you can either say no to or reschedule for a less busy time. Crazy schedules can overwhelm even the steadiest person, so make sure you're managing your time in a way that is productive for you.
Gift giving should be fun, so if it starts to stress you out you might need to look at some things. Look at your budget and figure out how much you are comfortable spending during this time. Try doing some DIY gifts or recommend a white elephant exchange. A simple card can be just as meaningful as a fancy gift.
Go out for a walk. Make a healthy chili you can feel good about. Try volunteering for a local organization. Go to the movies. Donate to your favorite charity. Do things that lift your spirits and recharge your body and soul.
This holiday season could be the first without a loved one. Or maybe you moved and you're in a brand new place with few family or friends. It's okay to create new traditions if you have/want to. Write a holiday poem, ring bells for the Salvation Army, or make tacos on Christmas Eve. There are all kinds of things you can try to make this time feel special, even if it feels different.
If you are feeling especially bummed or anxious this holiday season, ask for help. Find someone you are comfortable talking to and get the support you need. Call your doctor or seek help online. Whatever you do, make sure you are prioritizing your wellbeing this holiday season.
However you spend this time, we wish you peace and warmth.
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