The holiday season is upon us, and it’s considered to be the most wonderful time of the year. The season, with its multitude of holidays and celebrations, becomes a time for togetherness and activities. Stores, homes, and streets are decorated to be “Merry & Bright,” and they seem to set a standard that one should be continuously joyous during the season. It’s almost as though there is a negative stigma when someone is “just not feeling it” or “not in the mood.” With the many demands that the holiday season brings, people may not be able to check on each other in ways that are most effective. One must be sure to focus on one’s own wellness, especially during these times. 

Sometimes, these stigmas can make people feel guilty for feeling the way they do. Despite any pressure you may feel, it’s ok not to be ok. But what do you do after you recognize that you’re not feeling “okay?” Sometimes it does get hard, and there’s no way that anyone can take care of anything or anyone else if they are not taking care of themselves. We have to be the best versions of ourselves before we can be there for others.

There are several factors that contribute to what many call the “Holiday Blues”. These factors can include stress, fatigue, trouble sleeping, financial constraints, and unrealistic goals. Shorter days, longer nights, and colder weather can also impact depression or “Holiday Blues.” During the holiday season, we must take the time for ourselves. These are a few ways to cope and take care of your emotional well-being during the coming weeks:

  • Express Yourself! Just because it’s the holiday season does not mean that you’re not allowed to express your true feelings. Even if you choose not to express your feelings, it’s fine to have them.
  • Look Forward, Not Back! While we are not able to change or recreate things from the past, we can still create a similar or better future for ourselves.
  • Treat Yourself! Give yourself permission to do whatever it is that makes you happy, whether that means taking “me time”, trying something new, spending time with loved ones, volunteering, or sneaking something from the desserts.
  • Be the Pace Setter! Set realistic, achievable goals for yourself, and organize your time accordingly.
  • Organize! Not everything has to happen at once. Spreading out activities instead of spreading yourself thin can reduce stress and increase joy.

From all of us at the Crown Heights Community Mediation Center, we wish you a healthy and safe holiday season.