The holidays bring a lot of sadness to some people. It is normal to feel that way but we do not have to stay stuck there. There are things we can do to make the festive season less sad, and I have listed them below in 5 steps.
1) Acknowledge Your Feelings
Be honest about how you feel. It is okay to be sad, angry, or lonely during the holidays. There are many reasons that can bring these feelings: someone close dying, being far away from family, not feeling included in the festivities, or no one to share your memories with. Our emotions help us understand what we need. Acknowledging them is one step closer to knowing how to meet those needs.
2) Set Realistic Expectations
It is normal to feel a little sad around this time of year, but it’s important to set realistic expectations. If you try too hard to bring joy and happiness, it can backfire and make you feel worse. It’s okay if you don’t feel like going out or socializing at all. Instead of dwelling in sadness, try doing something with other people. Remember that there are people who need your help in the world and think about volunteering as a way to make yourself feel better. It may seem complicated, but be kind to yourself during this time. Doing these things will make the holidays more bearable.
3) Create New Traditions
-Make a list of things you wish you could do for yourself and then try to do one thing from the list every day. This could be like taking a walk, reading a book, or cooking.
-Plan an activity with friends that includes only those people so you won’t feel guilty if your feelings get the better of you.
-Think about what makes you happy and plan time with friends around these activities in order to distract yourself from how sad you might be feeling on a given day.
4) Focus on What Matters Most
You matter the most. Your needs matter too. If you need help, reach out to those around you. Seek support groups and other people who are experiencing the same feelings. Take care of yourself by eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep. Spend time with your friends and family in a setting that makes you feel comfortable. Try to focus on the things that make you happy – like movies or food – instead of what’s making you sad.
5) Seek Help If Needed
Sometimes, we might need more support to get through the holiday season and there is no shame in asking for help. Remember that you are not alone and there are people who will care about your well-being. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you feel sad or down on yourself during this time of year. Reach out to friends, family members, or professionals like counselors. Getting assistance makes it easier to process the sadness and create space for new experiences.