If you are experiencing grief, a loss, depression, or a life change, the holidays can be difficult. Here is a list of tips to deal with different challenges over the holidays.
Honor your loved one who passed:
· Make their favorite cookies or side dish for a holiday meal.
· Watch their favorite movie or listen to their favorite songs while driving around and looking at Christmas lights.
· Journal about your favorite holiday memories of your loved one and share them with family.
· Give a donation to a cause they were passionate about in their name.
· Write a letter stating how much you love them or miss them during the holidays.
Start some new traditions: If your loss is recent, still very painful, or was unexpected, you may find it helpful to celebrate the holidays differently this year:
· Start new traditions: eat new foods, celebrate Christmas Eve instead of Christmas Day, or attend a different church service.
· Do not make such a big deal about the holidays: do some regular activities, listen to regular music on the radio, watch funny or happy movies, exercise, read books, organize or clean.
· Get away: spend a day or weekend visiting friends or exploring a small town or different city.
· Make time for self- care and relax.
· Scale back: have smaller celebrations with less frills. Less frills means less stress and less time and energy put into planning.
If you need to move on from a relationship or not think about/ see a toxic person:
· Avoid social media and block the toxic person from all accounts, block their friends and family too.
· Decline invitations to holiday parties where he/she may be.
· Get rid of pictures and objects that remind you of him/her.
· If you feel like calling or reaching out during the holidays, identify a backup friend or family member to call.
· Make a list of the toxic person’s bad qualities to remind you of why he/she is out of your life and look at the list if you are tempted to reconcile or reach out.
· If you are stuck ruminating, go outside, go for a walk, exercise, or do physical activity.
Working through physical and mental illness:
· Identify and lean on your support system. Talk about how you are feeling. If you do not have a support system, look for online support groups and communities.
· Journal about your feelings.
· Focus on and identify the blessings, gifts, and positives in your life.
· Make a list of all of your strengths and celebrate any progress you have made this year.
· Practice self-compassion and kindness. Be patient and gentle with yourself.
· Practice gratitude daily.
· Surround yourself with people and things that you love and make you feel good.
· Practice mindfulness.
· Practice healthy coping skills