Thanksgiving means something different to everyone. I have plenty to be grateful for: to be surrounded by loved ones, have food on the table, and good health after living for two years in a pandemic. However, holidays often mean navigating difficult and emotional situations where no one comes out unscathed.
You’ve probably seen a lot of posts and ads about giving thanks, especially now that November, and the holiday season in general, has started. This time of year is often one meant to be filled with joy and positivity, sharing events with loved ones and making memories.
This holiday season has already been one like no other. With family not allowed to leave their state and having older grandparents/family members who are more vulnerable, I sometimes get a rush of sadness that I will not be able to spend the holidays with all my family.
The holiday season this year looks very different for everyone, and in particular there may be people like myself dealing with the first holiday season without a loved one. In February, my grandpa passed away. With the pandemic hitting shortly after, I have struggled to come to terms with the reality of it and believe at times I haven’t been able to fully grieve having not spent any real time with my grandma or spent time in their home without my grandpa there.
I’m not sure if it is just me, but NOTHING can ruin my mood around the holidays; in particular Christmas, and really the entire month of December, if I can be honest. I am very into keeping traditions, having a lot on my calendar during the holiday season that I do year-to-year: dinner with family, Christmas caroling with neighbors, Christmas card photos, decorate and make cookies to gift out, the whole nine yards.
I was recently swiping mindlessly through my friends’ Snapchat stories when I came across one who had storied a flyer from her gym titled, “Maintain, Don’t Gain!” that quoted the “statistic” that, “the average American will gain 5-10 lbs this holiday season.” The point of their flyer was to encourage users to sign up for more fitness classes this season.
This week, we wanted to share a few resources from professional mental health websites and practitioners to learn some coping mechanisms and suggestions specifically for the holiday season. We feel an obligation to be happy and cheery this time of year, but the reality is, it’s just as easy to feel depressed during the holidays as happy.
‘Tis the season. Even though a lot of us have been spending so much “quality time” at home with our families, there is a special something about the holidays (mostly Thanksgiving and Christmas, but all the holidays in this season) that brings out traits in people that may lay dormant during the rest of the year.