Unbelievably, the holiday season has returned again. It feels like just yesterday was back-to-school season, and here we are, up to our necks in turkey and mashed potatoes, shivering in the blustery cold weather. This time of year tends to be a mixed bag for many. It can bring joy, hope, and optimism through delicious meals, time spent with family, beautiful decor, and anticipation for happy memories. It can also bring an increase in stress, however, due to immense pressures of preparing food, hosting guests, traveling, navigating crowded roads and stores, spending money, and engaging with family who may not be your ideal companions. For others, it can be a time of profound loneliness and grief due to family estrangement or conflict, coping with the loss of a family member, or battling seasonal mood symptoms. For many, it can be a whirlwind mix of all of the above. Let's go over a few quick tips to help navigate this assortment of emotions and make the most of the holiday season.
What helps you get through the holiday season in one piece? Share your thoughts in the comments. Wishing you a joyful and mindful season!
Dr. Bethany Detwiler is a psychologist practicing in Allentown, PA. She specializes in mood and relationship struggles. She also is an adjunct professor of counseling at Lehigh University.