How to Handle the Holidays When Things Are Hard
Arm yourself with these coping strategies.
The holidays—a time to be joyous as we celebrate the good in life, surrounded by friends and family. At least, that’s what it seems like it should be, right? If it were only that easy. In reality, life often gets in the way of a very merry holiday season—loved ones pass away, people get sick, money gets tight, family moves far away, and some people even wholly leave your life. A mix of expectations and disappointments can create a stressful month or two, all of the while you’re expected to act like everything’s ok. But what if this year you were to say goodbye to all those expectations and traditions, and instead, let yourself off the hook a little? “If difficulties surrounding the holidays feel insurmountable, remember that you are in charge of what you choose to do,” says Nisha Zenoff, PhD, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of The Unspeakable Loss. Though the idea may seem sacrosanct, it just might be the key to getting through the holidays, no matter the situation you’re going through. So, if the holidays seem tough this year, read on: here, a few ways to help lessen the pain of the holidays, no matter what difficult situation you might be in.