By Jennifer Knox, MA, LCPC, NBCC
As people around us may feel excited during the holidays, it can also be a very challenging time for others. It can be a reminder of lost loved ones, family tension, and lost traditions. Grieving things that once were can make holidays difficult for some.
If you are feeling overwhelmed or down during this time of year, know that you are not alone. Holidays can be difficult for many people. Creating new traditions, finding ways to honor lost loved ones, and acknowledging our emotions are just a few ways to prepare ourselves for this time of year.
When we acknowledge our emotions, we give ourselves permission to feel. It’s OK to feel multiple things at once. Recognize your mixed emotions. Don’t mentally beat yourself up about your feelings. Give yourself a little downtime in between the busyness of this season.
If you are dealing with a lost loved one, you know that it can be challenging to feel happy without them. Finding a way to honor them during this time can be one way to bring you a little comfort and a piece of them. Making their favorite dish, lighting a candle or reminiscing about good memories you had with them can be a way to keep their memory alive.
As family changes, so can old traditions. Creating new traditions can be bittersweet, but it is also a great way to bring those that are with you together. This could be a chance to bring friends or family together in a new way. Finding parts of that tradition that brought you joy and putting a new spin on them can be a fun way to bring old and new together.
Whatever your emotion is this time of year, know that you are not alone. If you need support during this time counseling can offer a way for you to process your emotions. Don’t hesitate to reach out for extra support.