The holidays are upon us, which can bring a mix of excitement, opportunity, surprise, fear, and even sadness. Excitement and opportunity to see and reconnect with loved ones, have some downtime, and plan for the new year. On the other hand, the holidays can cause fear and even sadness with reflections that perhaps we didn’t reach our goals for the year, we’re not as connected to our loved ones as we would like, and fears over what the future may bring. When we experience fear and sadness, when left untreated, it can lead to or exacerbate depression, anxiety, and substance misuse. The holidays can serve as a reminder for what we feel that we don’t have enough of, while we compare ourselves to standards, ideals, and stereotypes of what others appear to have.
Here are some other tips:
- Try not to compare yourself to others.
- Celebrate your unique qualities and accomplishments.
- Plan and practice self-care.
- Connect with others—don’t isolate.
- Remember that most people experience the same concerns and frustrations that you might.
- Make new goals to look forward to spending your next holidays differently.
- Limit your screen time, and instead go outside.
- Share your emotions and feelings with those you are connected to—let them know how you’re doing.
- Speak with a professional.
- Remind yourself that this too shall pass.