Don’t push it
Yes, this is the season of perpetual joy and hope. But it may not be that way for everyone. Don’t push yourself to get into the spirit. Trying to push ourselves into something that doesn’t feel right can actually make us feel worse. Instead, focus on letting the season unfold how it is meant to. There will always be next year.
Are you and your family/partner/friends/roommates on different sides of the holiday spirit spectrum? Negotiate which activities you would like to be involved in and which they can count you out on. When we lay out expectations like this, we are less likely to get into heated discussions of what is expected of us.
Take what you like, leave the rest
Even if you don’t love the holidays, there are still things you likely enjoy. Take the free food and hot chocolate and leave the rest! You don’t have to participate in everything, but do take time to enjoy the small things you like.
Make a plan
If you know that this season is a trigger for you (it is for a lot of us!), plan for it. Talk to those around you and let them know what to expect out of you, and how they can best support you. Make food ahead of time. Take extra time off work. Make room for additional down time, or focus on other activities that aren’t holiday related.
Find your people
This time of year is hard, but you’re not alone, even though it may feel that way at times. Talk to friends and family. And when in doubt, check out the support groups offered at CMHA through this season.