I missed my Friday blog post due to needing to shovel snow before work. Earlier in the week, I wrote a post for Facebook that I’ll expand on here.
This Thursday will be Thanksgiving Day. Folks are posting holiday recipes, sending party invitations, and preparing for the core trio of U.S. holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.
But not everyone enjoys the holiday season. Perhaps someone is estranged from one’s family of origin and not allowed to attend family gatherings. Or maybe the holidays are a reminder of family members who have passed away.
Some feel left out at this time of year because they follow a different religious practice, and this season doesn’t speak to them. Others find the emphasis on big meals, bigger gifts, and festive attire a financial burden.
Maybe the holiday season fills you with dread because you’re concerned about not measuring up to an older relative’s decorating prowess or cooking abilities. Or, perhaps you feel forced to attend parties, but large gatherings fill you with anxiety.
If the holiday rush invigorates you, then, by all means, enjoy the thrill.
But for those who—for whatever reason—don’t enjoy the holiday atmosphere of November and December, please know that you’re not alone.
I hope this year, you’ll give yourself a gift. That gift is peace of mind.
You don’t have to dive headfirst into the decorating and feasting frenzy. You can abstain from the upcoming events, and you don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why you’re not celebrating.
Please treat yourself gently this year. Do only those activities and gatherings that you enjoy. Or do nothing at all. This holiday season is yours to shape in whatever way is most meaningful to you.
And if you find yourself struggling with depression or anxiety this year, please reach out to the many organizations who can help.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) can help you find local resources: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)
And the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is staffed 24/7: 1-800-273-8255