We have entered Holiday season. It is one of my favorite times of the year. Holiday season means new decorations, giving, spending time with my loved ones, and feeling and spreading joy. I am fortunate to be able to embrace and enjoy the Holidays.
While reflecting on my excitement for the Holidays, I recognized not everyone in my life might feel the same way about the Holidays as I do. I know I can be quick to judge those around me who seem down on the Holidays because they seem to be missing out on the positives of the season. What I was overlooking in my judgment was what might be happening beneath the surface. It isn’t always as black and white as someone either liking the holidays or not liking the holidays. People can love the holidays and be struggling with loss, grief, hurt, conflict, or disappointment.
I realized my friends, family, and coworkers have lost a loved one or are experiencing family issues. I was trying to help spark the holiday joy in those around me when the holiday spark was still there just dulled from what they were experiencing. While the holiday season creates warmth for me, it is also normal for it to create a reminder of loss, grief bursts, or tension between family members. It is important to remember this. To my friends, family, and coworkers I want you to know I am here for you during this difficult time. Let me know how I can support you during the holiday season.
If you are someone who is struggling during this holiday season, know you are not alone. The holidays can be hard for many people. It is important you are taking care of yourself. Taking care of yourself during this difficult time,
- might be spending time with family members talking about your lost loved one or creating a new holiday ritual in their honor;
- might be writing a letter to lost loved one;
- might be opening up to someone in your support network about the tension, grief, or disappointment you are experiencing;
- participating in activities or events that you enjoy; or might be differentiating from past negative influences and identities.
Sometimes it might be difficult to ask for help or support during the holidays because it may seem the expectation is to be merry and joyful. If you don’t feel comfortable reaching out to those in your support network, it might be best to reach out to a trained professional for help.
My hope for writing this blog is to remind those of us who love all parts of the holiday season to not be quick to judge those around us who might not be in the holiday spirit like we are. There could be more going on in their life than you know. Let those individuals know you are there for them whenever or however they want. For those of you struggling during this holiday season, I hope this blog serves as reminder it is okay for this time to be difficult and it can also still be special. Make sure you take time to care for yourself.