Los Angeles, CA — As we transitioned from carved pumpkins to pumpkin, well sweet potato, pies for the holiday season, it is important to remember that it may not be a cheerful time for everyone. And, that’s okay.
While some people enjoyed setting out cookies for Santa (or themselves wink wink*); enjoyed delicious comfort food; searched stores high and low for that perfect gift; or spent time with loved ones; many dread this season and the onslaught of a new year.
Whether you prefer not to celebrate; feel like you can not afford the holidays; are dealing with seasonal depression; or you are missing a loved one; there are a few things you can do to help you make it through what is supposed to be a festive time.
While Christmas is usually about searching for gifts, wrapping them and setting them under a decorated tree, don't let that stop you from feeling like you can't participate. Inflation is real! Get creative and try to make a gift for the ones you love. A handmade and thoughtful gift is timeless and priceless, and sentimental pieces often mean the world to people. Rather you make a holiday card from scratch or some beaded bracelets; as long as it comes from you and your heart, that is all that matters!
Stay off Social Media
Sometimes social media can be a lot during the holidays; they can be a constant reminder that they are coming up. Try to take some time away during this time, and try to watch a movie or show that does not involve commercials. Even seeing people with friends and family celebrating may be triggering for you. Make sure to take it easy.
Take a Mental Health Break
If this time is hard for you, take some time for a mental health break. Think about what you like to do and what makes you happy! It could be going to a bookstore, getting a frappuccino or going to the movies. Spend time out or inside and do something you truly enjoy; you deserve it.
Participate in Community Service
Sometimes giving back to your community can lift your spirits unlike anything else. It feels good to help make a difference, especially during a time when people need it. It may be a food, clothing or toy giveaway near you. If you are interested, try to get involved.
Take a Trip Down Memory Lane
Rather you are missing a loved one or a friend, take a little time to remember them. Maybe watch a movie you both liked or listen to a song with a great memory attached. Take a walk down memory lane and look at photos or videos. Know that they are proud of you!
Don't Ignore Your Feelings
The holiday season can be difficult; if you don't listen to any of the other tips, remember this one. Do not ignore your feelings; they are valid. If you want to cry, cry. Do what you need to get your emotions out, do not just bottle them up. Scream, sleep, relax, journal, vlog … do whatever you need, except self-mediate.