Surviving the Holidays

The holidays can be painful. For some of us, it’s because it is too much time spent with the family. For others, it can be painful because family isn’t near or perhaps a loved one has passed away. Other times, it may be because we have been excluded since our family feels we have too many problems to be included in all the holiday cheer.

It is supposed to be a happy time. We continually hear joyful holiday songs and people wishing everyone “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” Yet, the feelings of isolation and loneliness can magnify during these ‘peaceful’ times. Dr. Calvin Frederick, formerly of the National Institute of Mental Health, estimates that there is a 15% increase in the number of people seeking professional help during the holiday season.

Here’s a few suggestions to help you handle the holidays

  • Accept things for what they are. Maybe you’re single this year and you were hoping to be in a relationship. Don’t beat yourself up about it. It is what it is. Focus on the positive things.

  • Stop putting unreasonable pressure on yourself. Don’t worry about having the cleanest house on the block or making homemade goodies for everyone you know. You don’t need to come across as your version of perfect. You are who you are, and you are amazing. Never forget that.

  • Surround yourself with people who make you feel better. Make plans to hang out with those special friends and family members either before or after the holidays so you have something to look forward to.

  • Make an effort to be more physically active and to get out of the house more often. Step away from the computer and television and do something active. Research indicates that exercise stimulates the production of endorphins which help elevate moods.

Before you know it, the holidays will be over and the new year will be upon us. With a new year, comes new beginnings and a fresh start.

The LoveEd Movement provides outreach and education for older teens and millennials on the dangers they face on and off-line as well as viable solutions for helping older teens and millennials make healthy relationship choices.

Please check out our Compassionate Dialogues Curriculum for teachers and school personnel to use with pre-teens, teens and millennials who are experiencing distress, depression, or are suicidal or homicidal.