Are you feeling the anxiety building as we get further into December? Here are some strategies for getting through the holidays :
- LEAN INTO THE SAD. Yes, stop resisting it and set aside an hour or two to look at photos, home movies, whatever and just cry. Acknowledge the sadness, the wishing your loved one was still here and let the emotion flow.
- Take a cue from that pesky Elf on the Shelf. Find a way to say hello to your lost loved one each day. It can be a simple quick hello in your head, it can be a lighting of a candle each evening. Or maybe as you sit around the dinner table everyone shares a thought for the day.
- Make a date with yourself to escape the holidays. Take a bubble bath with no holiday spirit in sight. Go to the theater and watch a movie. Hop on the internet and plan your summer vacation. Just do something that filters out all the holiday noise.
- Resisting decorating? Don’t do it. It’s okay.
- Struggling to get the Holiday cards out? Give yourself a break this year. Don’t do them. OR do New Year’s cards instead. Wait to do them until January when there isn’t so much pressure.
- Feeling guilty for actually enjoying the season? Do something to incorporate your loved one into your celebrations. And recognize he/she/they want you to be happy and embrace the life you’re still living!
- Dreading holiday parties and family gatherings? Talk to the host beforehand, tell them you may or may not show up and if you do show up you may leave early. Explain it has nothing to do with them or their party. Share as much or as little as you feel comfortable, letting them know this time of year is still difficult so you are doing what you need to do to take care of yourself.
- Hating everything about this time of year? Let yourself off the hook completely – start thinking about 2018. How would you like 2018 to look different from 2017? Then make a list of 5 small steps you can take the rest of this year to move towards that vision of 2018.