It’s the most wonderful time of the year… except when you’re feeling stressed, broken, lonely, anxious and sad. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a Hallmark movie, but in a reality where breakups, divorces, deaths, depression, addiction, miscarriages and shitty families exist.
Don’t worry, it’s OK not to be OK during the holidays. Although many things about the holidays look designed to make you feel inadequate, the most important things is to take care of yourself and no one else.
So, if you’re experiencing some pre-holidays blues, we have some ideas that can help you.
1. Think about your relationship to holidays such as New Year’s Eve and Christmas. Ask yourself how you feel the best, celebrating them. Learning how you feel about the holidays will help you create a plan that’s meaningful to you.
2. Make the actual plan for the holidays, whether you want to stay alone, party with friends or work. Decide in advance.
3. Do not be ashamed to admit that things are shitty. Dropping the “everything is fine” even just for a moment can be liberating.
4. Log off social media during the holidays. No need to see other people’s seemingly perfect Christmas photos.
5. If holidays are hard for you because you’ve lost people, do something to honor them and make them feel closer. Cook their favorite meal, write them a letter and just celebrate the good memories.
6. Allow yourself to feel the feelings. Maybe you just need to be sad or angry. It’s OK.
7. Do not feel bad if you don’t go to the office holiday party. It’s fine. There will be another one next year.
8. Ask for help if you need and if people offer to help, take them up on it.
9. Do not self-medicate with alcohol. It might be nice at the moment, but alcohol will only worsen the feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness.
10. Make yourself a cosy pyjama day. There’s nothing better than that.
11. Go for a walk whenever you can. Getting some fresh air will make you feel better.
12. Clean and tidy your home so that it feels more fresh and comfortable.
13. Get rid of things that you no longer use or that make your heart hurt. You don’t need anything that’s bringing you down.
14. If you have pets, throw them the best holiday ever.
15. Spend more time in a bubble bath.
16. Read as much as you can. There’s nothing better than diving into a wonderful book.
17. Start a creative hobby that will keep your hands busy.
18. Make a list of all your wins from the past year, no matter how big or small they are. This will definitely cheer you up.
19. If you don’t feel like giving Christmas gifts or sending cards, it’s fine. People will understand.
20. Make a list of everything you want to leave behind in 2019 and (safely) burn it.