Sparkly lights, jingle bells, elves on shelves, ribbons and wrappings, all reveal holiday fanfare.
The dreams of perfection, good feels, and the carrying on of traditions…it can be a lot. What do you do when the spirit of the season isn’t always welcomed with the warm and fuzzys, but instead a, “wake me when it’s over” attitude. Feeling festive, and the notion of carrying on with a “tis the season” mentality can be difficult for many. The holidays can provoke feelings of disappointment, realities of separated families, the loss of loved ones, and reminders of past hurts. Here are a few Holiday First Aid suggestions to keep moving one foot in front of the other to hike through the season like a champ.
Give social media a rest.
When everyone looks like their having fun and you’re not, it can feel devastating and isolating. Don’t fall into the trap of “everyone is doing this better than me” attitude. On the flip side, stay true to yourself and don’t feel like you have to post things to keep up with The Smiths.
When unpleasant emotions sneak in.
Acknowledge them, honor them, and make efforts to let them pass. You can start your day over at any time, and multiple times a day, when needed.
Create new traditions.
Pay attention to what will make the holidays enjoyable for you. Steer clear of shoulds, musts, and have toos.
Remember that the holidays are temporary.
“This too shall pass.”
Talk it out, draw it out, kick box it out. Gain the support of others. Schedule counseling as means to help.
When you’re not close with your family.
Make the best of it and seek out the good people in your life. Consider making amends, if possible and warranted.
Volunteer time, organize donations, focus on the bigger picture.
Stay grounded. Take one day at a time. Try to not get too far ahead of yourself, or drift too far back. Maintain focus on the present day.
Andrea Picard, LCPC, ATR is a therapist at our Edison Park location. Andrea works with adults, families, teens, children, and moms/caregivers. Andrea’s specialties include art therapy, parent + child relationships, anger, addiction, and anxiety. If you’re interested in working with Andrea, send an email today!