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Coping With the Uncertainties This Holiday Season Brings

There is no doubt that the holiday season looks very different this year. Holidays in general can be a pretty stressful time without a pandemic. The many uncertainties, changes in tradition, loss of loved ones, and separation from family may leave people feeling even more stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, lonely, or depressed. If this explains how you’re feeling, you are not alone.

Whether you are in a situation where you have lost loved ones during this time or if you just can’t be with them, it is understandable that this leaves behind feelings of loneliness and isolation. However, that does not mean you can’t stay connected with friends and family in other ways. In fact, staying connected in whatever way possible, whether it is through texting, calling, video chatting, may be one of the most important things you can do to cope during this time. Of course it is not the same as being together in person, but being in communication and interacting with others in any form can help you feel just a little less alone.

If you are mourning old traditions that will not be happening this year, re-creating those traditions in safe ways can help keep the spirit up and maintain some degree of routine.

Other things that can help cope with whatever feelings you are sitting with are:

· Watch your favorite movies or TV shows

· Take a walk before it gets too cold. Fresh air is good for the mind.

· Talk to someone about how you are feeling, a friend, relative, etc. If you do not have someone to talk to, know that someone is always available by texting the word “HOME” to the Crisis Text Line at 741741. Crisis counselors are always willing to speak with you, even if you are not in crisis but just need a listening ear.

· Indulge in some of your favorite food.

· Write it out. Sometimes writing your thoughts and feelings on paper can be a huge release.

· Read a book.

· Pick up a new hobby or re-engage in old ones you may have lost time for.

· Meditate

· Stay active

Overall, one of the biggest things that can help with coping this holiday season is doing what is right for you. Now more than ever, slowing down and figuring out what you need is most important in maintaining your mental health, especially during the rush of the holiday season.


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