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Tips for coping during this holiday season

Tips for coping during this holiday season

Holidays can be difficult during a typical year. This year is not typical due to the pandemic we’re living through. So, the holidays may be extra hard this year. You may have decided to do a virtual Thanksgiving, or a very small, pared down affair. You may not be seeing family members who you desperately miss. You also may be a healthcare worker who doesn’t have a break on Thanksgiving. Here are some tips for coping during this holiday season.

Acknowledge your feelings

The first step to any sort of success is acknowledging our feelings. Whatever feelings you’re having right now about the holidays, just allow them to be there. It’s okay to say things to yourself (or wail these words into the abyss) like, “This is really hard” or “I am experiencing [insert emotion here] and it’s a lot.” So, let yourself have your feelings.

Make some plans

If you’re choosing to stay home during the holidays or you’re having a pared down celebration, still make plans. Order yourself a fancy takeout Thanksgiving meal. (Support local restaurants!) Queue up a favorite movie (I SEE YOU, STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI! Please don’t @ me). Plan a virtual hang out with friends or family members. Take a long walk. Bake yourself a really nice pumpkin pie (or buy one.)

Use “I” statements to set boundaries

Some people in your life aren’t going to understand if you opt out of a holiday gathering. That’s okay. Communicate your thoughts and feelings using “I” statements. You might say, “I am choosing to stay home because I want to reduce my own risk and protect the people I love.” Or, “I won’t be attending this gathering because I am having a very small Thanksgiving with my household.” Also, tell people you love them.

Give thanks (aka write down 5 things you’re grateful for)

Gratitude has been correlated with greater happiness! Take a minute to write down 5 things that you’re grateful for. Even in the most difficult, darkest times, we can find moments of joy, peace, and gratitude. I, for one, am grateful that Taylor Swift dropped an intimate, cozy concert this week. (Thanks, Taylor!)

Nothing is permanent

This is my last thought for you. Nothing is permanent. This will end, as all things do. Sending all of you love and a virtual hug.

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