How to Survive the Holidays

The most wonderful time of the year is around the corner and everyone’s getting ready for another season of joy, togetherness, gifting, caroling, and tasty food. Yet, for a large number of people, this time of the year is also a source of a great stress, exhaustion, and sadness.

Studies show that only 10 percent of people in the U.S. report no stress during the holidays.Also, the holiday season may beexceptionallytough if you recently lost someonecloseand you are still grieving. All the hustle and bustle around the holidayscanincrease the feeling ofyourloss, making thesorrow and loneliness feel bottomless.

For all of you who struggle with the jolliness of the season, here are some effective ways to survive theholidays.

Holiday Stress

To lessenor avoid the stressthroughoutthe holidays,youneed to learn how to respond tooverwhelmingholidayhubbubin a composed and healthyway.So, let’sdelve onthemost effective ways tostay saneduring the holidayseason.

1. KeepOrganized

If you wanttolessentheholiday-related stress, try toavoid the last-minuteshopping. Rathermake a schedule aheadfor shopping, decorating, baking, gathering,and other holiday activities. This wayyou’ll cut your last-minute errandsthat causea lot ofstress during holidays.

2. PlanYour Budget

Things can easily get out of hand during the holidays. Each year,most of usendup spending a lot more thanweoriginally planned.So, make sure to plan your holiday budget andtostick to it.Also, if you’re struggling with the finances, don’t spendunreasonably. Forinstance, instead of buying expensive gifts, give something handmade and original.

3. Take Care of Yourself

Although the holiday season is usually asymbolfor familyget-togethers andfriend-reunions, try to devote sometimeto yourselfas well. Take a break from partying,excessive eating andgruelingtrips to the malls.

Dosomeyoga or practice mindfulness meditation instead.Read your favorite book and spend some lazy mornings in your bed.Also, this is a perfect time of the year to count your blessings and think ofyourNew Year’s resolutions. Start your days expressing gratitude for all those good things that have come your way.

Devoting time to yourselfduring the holidays will help renew your energyandhelp keepthe peaceful mind during the holidays.

Loss andGrief during the Holidays

If you recently lost a close person, your life has certainly changed, filling your days withthedevastating pain.Andtheholiday season can be particularly tough for those inamidst of thegrieving process. If you’re still grieving, it is totally normal that you feel the apathy and indifference towards the approaching holiday season.

However, here are some things you can do to ease the pain and survive the holidays.

1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

The way you’ll cope with grief and loss during the holidays is only your business. Don’tfeel guilty if you cannot enjoy yourself.It is all right to tell people you just aren’t up to celebrations this year.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to mourning during the holiday season. For example, if you don’t feel like joiningthefamily or corporate celebrations this year,don’t want to sing carolsor you want to tune out the holiday season altogether,that’s only your choice. So, do whatever you feel like doingand give yourself time to grieve.

2. Reach Out for Support

Seek grief counseling. A professional bereavement counselor can help you accept your feelings and build a strategy for coping with emotional, cognitive, behavioral, and spiritual reaction to loss.

3. Externalize Your Loss

Talk about the deceased person. Joinagrief support group, online or in your community.Sharingyour feelings and thoughts with people who are going throughasimilar experience can be helpful.In addition, doingsmall things inthememory of a loved one such as creating a certain tribute during the holidays can also help in your grieving process.

4. Start a New Holiday Tradition

Starting a new tradition with your kids, family members or friendsdoesn’t mean that you have already forgotten a loved one. Doing something different will help you survive the holidays and boost the awareness that you need to moveon.Also, don’t feel guilty if you find joy during the holiday season. Enjoying the holidays doesn’t diminish how much you miss the person you lost.

5. Holiday Good Deeds

Consider helpingothersduringtheholidays.Think aboutjoining a local charity orvolunteeringin your community. Helping others will distract your grieving thoughts and give you something else to think about instead. Additionally, giving and sharing with others will boost your self-esteem; you’ll feel better knowing that you are doing something selfless during the holidays.

For many people, holidays can beastressfuland painfultime of the year.None of us can escape loss, butthesting ofbereavementcan be especiallypainfulduring the holidays. While youmay feel pressure to be happy during the holiday season, it’s totally fine if you don’t.

In the end, if you need support in overcoming stress or coping with grief during the holidays,reach out for support. We canwork on your feelings, boost your coping mechanismsduring the holidays, and help you get back on track.


Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella

Black Sheep

Can we all just get along?

How to improve family relationships. Are you the black sheep of your family?

Sometimes individuals can feel like the black sheep of the family, and of course, that’s not a good emotion. So how do we improve these family dynamics and relationships? First being open and having honest conversations with your family about your feelings is the best place to start. Be true to who you are and your feelings and express them in a healthy way. When needed seek support from friends and outsiders who can help provide important feedback and suggestions. At times seeking a family therapist for the family as a whole can always be a great effective option as well.

Posted by Colette Lopane-Capella