As we are in full swing of the Holiday season, I thought this would be a good time to discuss emotions related to this time of year. Many people find this time of year very difficult. Whether or not someone is dealing with a mental illness, Holidays can bring up a lot for people. It is important to remember that although the “expectation” is to be happy, for many people, they cannot bring themselves to feel joy. I am especially talking to those who “put on a face” this time of year because others expect them to be happy. You don’t have to feel joy. You don’t have to be excited or happy. It is ok to feel loss, pain, sadness, anger, and whatever other emotion you may be dealing with.
The important thing is to know you are not alone, and to not get swallowed up in those emotions. It is vital to take care of yourself. It is imperative that you do not lose focus of the work you have been doing all year to work on yourself. Give yourself time to grieve, or feel the emotions you have, but also give yourself the pampering you deserve and need. Find support; find people who understand what you are going through and don’t expect you to be or feel something you are not.
You know how good it feels to give to others? Maybe one way you take care of yourself is by helping others. Just like you, others are suffering. What can you offer them? Can you give a gift to the Salvation Army or another donation site for kids in need? Can you give some canned or non-perishable goods to the Fire or Police departments for those without food? Can you volunteer some of your time somewhere? Giving to others often makes people feel very good about themselves and can get you out of your distress. Even if you get out of your suffering for only a few minutes, it can feel like a great relief.
Take time for yourself. Listen to yourself and your body. Rest when you need to. Distract when you need to. Feel when you need to. Whatever you do, don’t lose the gains you have achieved all year just because this time of year can be difficult. It does not have to pull you down. It does not have to undo everything you’ve done this year. Pay attention to your attitude and change your attitude when you find yourself talking negatively – no matter what you are being negative about.
Keep up the hard work! Get the support and appreciation you need. If you aren’t sure what to do to get out of your suffering, contact your therapist, or other trusted person. You can always call me as well! 860-501-9767 or 941-462-4807.