Are the holidays difficult for you?

The holidays are just around the corner. Lots of lights, decorations, time with family. While some cherish and celebrate this time of year, others find themselves struggling and wishing they could just avoid the holidays altogether.

These “holiday blues” can be hard to take, whether they crop up in one particular year, every year, or somewhere in between.

If you’re struggling or know someone else who is, this article offers some strategies to help cope with the holiday blues.

Are the holidays difficult for you?

Pause to Acknowledge

It may sound a bit simplistic but taking some time to just stop and check in with yourself to see how you’re doing can really be a help—even if just for a few moments. This means getting quiet and identifying your feelings, naming them one by one. Allow your heart to open to what you’re feeling.

“Yes, loneliness is what I’m feeling.”

“Sadness is here.”

“I’m feeling anxious.”

Whatever your experience is your reality. Simply acknowledging what that is and letting whatever is here just be here can, somewhat counterintuitively, offer a bit of relief. Our MindDoc App can be a helpful companion if you’d like to check in with yourself on a regular basis.


Accepting What Cannot Be Changed

Once you’ve identified and acknowledged what’s here, ask yourself if part of what you’re feeling is that something is wrong, that you’re wanting or wishing for something to be different or to change. While there are some things you can influence, such as where and how you spend your holidays, there are also circumstances that are out of your control, such as the weather or the behavior of other family members.

If you notice that you’re longing for things to change that are out of your control, acknowledge that desire, and then actively imagine letting go of the longing. Perhaps you can put it on a huge helium balloon and watch it float up to the sky and away.


Look for What Truly Is Good

Whatever your situation, look, too, for what you really can appreciate. A warm sip, soft blankets, getting time to yourself.

Focusing on feeling grateful for what you do have in your life can help balance the scale a bi


Celebrating Your Way

As you go through the holiday season, consider scheduling in a little time each day for an activity you can do to make this time a bit special. Read in bed, take a walk in a place you love, bake your favorite cookies, whatever sounds best to you—set yourself up for something to regularly look forward to.


Gift Giving for Yourself

With the challenges and stresses of the holiday season, this might be a good time to treat yourself to a gift, even a small one, without asking yourself if you really need it. A gift could be a way of bringing something special to yourself.


Making a Plan

Making a plan when you’re feeling a bit out of sorts can also provide a sense of comfort. It can be a way to offset disappointment and give yourself an idea of what you can expect.

What could be good for you at this time? How and with whom would you most like to spend the holidays? Do you want company or would you prefer time just for yourself? If you live alone but don’t want to celebrate alone, you might make a plan with friends or check your neighborhood listserv or an online platform for gatherings you can join.

Additionally, offering kindness to others can help turn your focus outward. And knowing that you can help in some way can bring purpose or some amount of contentment. Make cookies for a neighbor, send a card to someone through the mail, volunteer to work at a soup kitchen, give food or a blanket to someone who is without a place to live. There are likely many ways you could help.


Whatever way you choose to manage the holidays, we wish you a holiday season in which you can find peace and take good care of yourself.


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