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HOLIDAYS CAN BE HARD

Holidays Are Hard; ‘Tis The Season To Take Care Of You

Written by Lupe Nambo

It’s that time of year again, and I am sure you have noticed how fast the Holiday season is taking over stores. For some, this can trigger the body and create stress or dread because the reality is that not everyone feels festive or excited during the Holiday season. For many, this can be a time of grief, frustration, or mixed emotions. Many folks feel triggered around this time of the year. They may not notice how the holiday impacts their mood or day-to-day routine, or why they feel anxious, irritable, sad, or stressed. 

 

 

One may feel triggered as they hear people making holiday plans or seeing more holiday events popping up. Others may begin remembering old memories, some good and some sad, and even traumas that happened in their childhood or adolescence during the holidays. So many emotions are tied to the Holiday season, depending on your experience with the Holidays.

 

 

“We can not change the fact that the Holidays are coming, but we can decide how much control we want the Holidays to have over our emotions and bodies. “

 

 

So how do we prepare for the Holiday season? First, start with something that aligns with you and your body. Try to avoid creating unobtainable goals or pressure of what you should be doing during the Holidays. Instead, listen to your body, trust yourself and do what feels right. 

 

 

Let’s start with awareness; why start here? Having insight and understanding around your needs gives you space to communicate your needs, set boundaries, and or be able to ask for support. 

 

Here are some questions to get started?

  • Do you notice changes in your mood or sleep patterns, sleeping more or less? 
  • Do you feel more irritable or emotional during the holidays?
  • How does your body react during the holidays? Do you experience tension headaches, backaches, stomachaches, Clammy and sweaty hands, or other physical discomforts?

 

 

“When we can pinpoint the things that impact our bodies and emotions, we can advocate for ourselves better.”

 

 

Understanding your emotions gives you space to validate and feel your feelings. You do not need to pretend to be excited about the holidays or feel pressured to feel the joy that others feel. 

 

The holidays are challenging enough without the guilt, be realistic about what you can handle during the holidays.

 

What Holiday events feel safe for you to attend?

 

What is your emotional capacity to hang out with people if you decide to go out? What’s your threshold it is 1 hour or 2 hours?

 

Who can you go to for support When you feel sad, overwhelmed, or frustrated by the holidays?

 

Who do you enjoy spending time with during the holidays?

 

The point of these questions is that you get to decide how much you want to engage in the holiday season or how little you wish to participate in the holiday season. The challenge is understanding your needs, what feels safe for you, and being able to set the boundary with the people around you. 

 

 

Family expectations, customs, and norms can make it hard to set boundaries. But, at the same time, you do not have to spend the holidays with people who impact your mental health negatively. 

 

This season challenge yourself to experience the holidays on your terms if you decide to participate in festivities. Remember, you get to decide who you want to spend time with and how much or little time you want to dedicate to others. Is it okay to opt out of Holiday events or parties if you feel it is too much for you or are not ready to be around crowds? Do not neglect yourself, and make sure you are taking care of your basic needs like eating, sleeping, staying hydrated, and moving your body. Pay attention to your routine and continue doing things that you enjoy and are manageable. 

 

 

Remember, the Holidays are a season and will pass. 

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