Going Through the Holiday Season on Your Own

Being alone through the holiday season can be a painful time. For some people, the holiday season means spending quality time with family, sharing a meal, and maybe even sharing gifts. For others, this time of year may not feel cheery and is not the most wonderful time of the year. The season can be very stressful and devastating for people spending it without their loved ones.

Here are a few things that might help you to celebrate the holidays:

1. Let yourself feel your emotions.

The holidays can trigger difficult emotions and make people reflect on how things used to be or how they wish things were this year. Allow yourself to feel sad, disappointed, or anything that might come up. Whatever you are feeling is okay. Take time to reflect on how you are feeling each day. You can write in a journal, talk to a friend, or draw a picture to process your emotions.

2. Plan for triggers.

Think ahead of time about certain places or things that might bring up painful emotions, then come up with a plan for how to process these feelings. Think about what has helped you in the past; maybe it is listening to music or calling a support person when you feel triggered.

3. Keep an open mind.

Your holiday season may not be what you hoped it would be, but you can try and adjust your expectations. Try and make another plan instead. If someone invites you to a holiday get together, or a walk in the park, accept the invitation! You might consider going to a therapeutic Being around people may help you enjoy the holidays. Or, simply enjoy time by yourself. Staying home all day may be just as comforting!

4. Treat yourself.

Take this time to do something nice for yourself this holiday season. You can take a warm bath, read your favourite book, or cook your favourite meal. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just something that helps you care for yourself.

5. Help others.

Helping other people over the holidays can help boost your mood. Maybe there is a holiday play at your child’s school that you can help with, or perhaps you can help a friend prepare a meal.

6. Do nothing.

Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is simply to do nothing. Don’t feel pressure to make plans every day; you can take it day by day if that works for you.

The holiday season can be tough. If you are feeling overwhelmed, remember to breathe. You can try using this breathing bubble. If you need support, you can also talk to a professional at The Family Centre’s free drop-in counselling or therapeutic support groups. You can also check out The Family Centre classes for practical tips.

It is okay if the holiday season does not turn out how you wanted it to. Do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself.

For more mental health tips, visit our blog

Writer: Delphine Brown, Family Reunification Worker

Contributor: Kaitlyn Shinness, Family Connector