The holiday season – a time for joy and laughter and quality family time… Right? Well… that’s what we’re told we’re supposed to experience this time of year. But what if those things aren’t accessible?
What does it feel like for you during the holidays?
It is okay to acknowledge that this time of year may feel not-so-jolly.
It is okay to recognize that the pressures of spending the holidays a certain way can be draining. It is okay to not feel aligned with the supposed-to-be joy and merriment that seems to be all around.
The holiday season can increase stress, feelings of depression or anxiety, and bring up grief and loss from loved ones who may not be with us anymore. This juxtaposition of the joy we should be feeling, and the reality of what we typically do feel can be complicated and confusing.
There seems to be an underlying message that in order to enjoy the festive season and partake in the merriment this time of year, you must:
Spend increased amounts of money on gifts to show your loved ones how much you care
Share large, festive meals with family and friends
Spend quality time with your family, making every moment as special as possible
Partake in community holiday events
Hang your decorations for all to see
Spread the joy to everyone around you
What if your budget doesn’t allow for increased spending?
What if your family isn’t a safe place for you?
What if your home isn’t a safe place for you?
What if you are experiencing the loss of a loved one?
What if your relationship with eating and body-image is painful and complicated?
What if your relationship with alcohol consumption is painful and complicated?
What if your mental health is not in a place where joy and merriment can be held for yourself or for other people?
Then, I imagine that this time of year is anything but joyous, merry, and bright.
This is okay. You are okay.
We encourage you to recognize these parts of you. Sit with them. Acknowledge them. Let them breathe. You are not doing anything wrong by not feeling aligned with the season we are in.
Ask yourself – what do I need this holiday season?
Is it time alone?
Is it time with a specific person?
Is it an adjusted budget to fit your financial needs?
Is it self-kindness and compassion towards your mental health, body-image, and emotions?
Whatever it is you need this holiday season; we encourage you to take it.
Do you have any feedback/questions on this article? Feel free to leave a comment and let us know. We'd love to continue learning with you :)