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  • Writer's pictureTricia Pyatt, MA, LPC

Surviving the Holidays

As we head into the holidays, please remember those who are struggling. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Not everyone celebrates the same way.

Some people are grieving huge life losses.

Many people struggle with mental illness - anxiety, depression, and many others - and it can be downright debilitating at times, especially in the presence of a lot of people and festivities. People can easily be triggered, overwhelmed, overstimulated, and can't always be a part of everything you want them to be a part of.

People have different boundaries. This means some people may choose to not go anywhere for the holidays. They may decide to start their own traditions for them and their family. Sometimes, they have to draw a line and not feel obligated to do everything they are asked or expected to do.

And all of these things - every single one - is OK!

So, to the momma who just brought a new baby home from the hospital and isn’t ready to expose them to the world yet, it’s ok to stay home and have a quiet day, cherishing your precious gift.

To the Dad stressing about finances, and wondering how he’s going to be able to buy gifts for all of his family, it’s ok to simplify.

To the one who is grieving a loss, and fully expecting the holidays will be difficult, it’s ok to make new traditions or to celebrate that person in a special way. Make them a part of your day if that’s what brings you peace.

To the parents who feel like all they do is run from one place to another on a holiday, and they are exhausted by the time they get home and their kids are cranky, it’s ok to say “no” to all of the things people expect you to do, and to change the tradition to make the holidays more enjoyable for your family. You don’t have to do it because that’s just what is expected.

The bottom line is this:

Love people. Be patient and understanding. Show empathy and compassion. And most importantly, take care of yourself. Don’t allow expectations and pressure to take control of your holidays. Take control and make your holidays what you want them to be.

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