For many, the holidays are cause for celebration and happiness. However, they can be a time of great sadness and isolation for others.
With all that is happening worldwide, one may wonder whether it is genuinely appropriate to feel joyful this upcoming holiday season.
Everywhere you turn- the internet, social media, print publications, and the nightly news- report more global crises.
Instead of joy, the current uncertainty in the Middle East and Ukraine, the United States’ political and economic environments, and the potential for another pandemic or other severe illnesses such as Covid, Flu, and RSV are causes for anyone to have increased anxiety.
Holidays may bring up happy and sad memories if you have lost a loved one. Grief is a process that is unique to each individual. If you have lost a loved one, whether recently or long ago, you must communicate your needs and wants to those you will be with that day.
The anticipation of being alone while attending celebrations and dealing with difficult personalities can make it unbearable for some.
Does it all make you want to crawl into bed and sleep through the day or hide from the world in general? Avoiding some circumstances related to anxiety and grief during the holidays is appropriate, but isolating yourself is not okay.
Everyone has a different experience with grief. For some, openly discussing lost loved ones brings comfort and helps mourners in their grief journey. Others may not be ready to verbalize their feelings yet.
Trust it is okay to feel your feelings. Acknowledge them. Journaling or writing them out, along with your emotions, can be therapeutic.
Most importantly, show self-compassion and listen to your body. Give yourself time for extra rest or to reflect on the day’s events.
Some suggestions for coping with anxiety, remembering your lost loved ones, and sources of comfort during the difficult season may include:
Some self-care actions you can take are:
This upcoming season, remember that you are not alone. The holidays can be a difficult time for people for a host of reasons.
The most important thing you can do is recognize and acknowledge your feelings and reach out to others for help and support. Sometimes, that means turning off the TV, silencing your phone from the latest news alerts, or taking a break from social media.
Remember, you are not alone.