Holiday Season is upon us here in the United States, and historically it is supposed to be a time of joy and warmth with family. The reality is that the holidays are not pleasant for everyone and all the uncertainties of 2020 will surely make the upcoming holiday season more challenging for some.
The holidays may be a difficult time for a number of reasons: a loved one is no longer with us, COVID-19 has made gatherings more complicated or impossible, families have different political views that makes for uncomfortable conversations, you may not have family nearby to celebrate with, and holidays are a reminder of past traumas and hurts. Below I will list tips and coping strategies to help you navigate the holiday season.
Missing a loved one: If you have lost a loved one, the holidays can be hurtful and a remind you of your lost loved one. My suggestion for you is to allow yourself to feel your grief as it comes when it is safe to do so.
Self Care: Pay attention to your eating, sleeping and downtime.
Fun, not perfection: Just have as much fun as you can and do not expect the holidays to be perfect.
Anticipate stress: Pre plan what your strategy will be when times get stressful.
Covid precautions: Decisions can be fluid; you can change your mind about decisions if you become uncomfortable. For example, leaving an event if there are too many people.
COPING WITH STRESS
- Keep expectations manageable
- Be realistic about what you can and cannot do
- Leave the past in the past and look toward to the future
- Do something for someone else
- Enjoy outdoor activities
- Be aware of excessive drinking
- Spend time with supportive and caring people
- Save time for yourself