Updated: Dec 27, 2019
“In my mind, I want you to be free, for all of my friends, to listen to me, now hear what I say…….. “ cranks loudly over the department store speaker and you know that it is officially the holiday season. But you don’t want to hear the joyous sounds of the Temptations or Mariah Carey reminding you of what you have been dreading.
In households all across the country this holiday season brings heightened anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts for some. This can be triggered by financial stress, grief, loneliness, strained family relationships, or the cold dark weather also known as SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder and affects close to 10 million Americans according to Psychology Today. The fact is that this is NOT always the season to be jolly.
For celebrities like Megan Thee Stallion, Trina, Da Baby, and Lauren London this will be their first holiday season since the loss of a close loved one. Imagine having beautiful holiday traditions with your mom, husband, or child and now they won’t be here to enjoy them with you. And what about those of us who are grieving the absence of living loved ones due to strained relationships or even prison sentences? This are just a few situations to consider this holiday season when greetings others.
Megan opens up about losing her mom
But can we actually overcome the holiday blues? Let’s look at a few holiday traditions and replace them with tips to help you tackle this holiday season.
Family Dinner- This can actually be very triggering if you have strained relationships or are experiencing grief. Assess your relationships with those who will be present and determine if this will be healthy for you beforehand. Mentally prepare yourself and understand that you are not required to be in any space that does not support your mental health. If those relationships are intact then, get out that bed and go break bread with the fam but don’t be afraid to ask for what you need from your loved ones.
Gift giving- This year challenge yourself to give meaningful gifts and experiences over expensive ones. According to CNBC, close to 30% of shoppers enter the season still in debt from the previous year. This year, let’s try something different. Give experiences, give love, give back, and give things that people need. Do not over extend yourself and go into debt this holiday season.
Eggnog- Who really drinks this anyway? I’m more of a Crown Apple type of girl! Whatever your holiday drink of choice is, it is important not to use this holiday season as an excuse to relapse or go overboard with excessive drinking. Be proactive and have an accountability partner and designated driver already identified.
Decorations- Holiday lights can be beautiful to watch, but for those suffering with SAD or depression, actual light therapy is a great tool. Due to the lack of sunlight during this season, light therapy and vitamin D treatments can help counteract this seasonal depression. Also consider traveling to warmer brighter climates during this season.
Santa Claus- It could be so simple if we could give our wish list to a jolly old man and they magically came true, but you can write a letter to someone you have lost or someone you miss. This is also a great time to write your goals. You can create a vision board, join a support group, and/or seek a professional to help you process these emotions in a healthy way.
Mistletoe- Who doesn’t love a good sensual kiss from bae? Well sometimes we have to kiss ourselves. This year focus on implementing some new self-care techniques just for the holiday season. This is a great time to love on you. You deserve it!
Reiki sessions are extremely therapeutic
It is important to determine how your new holiday norm will look. Be open to create new memories and traditions while still being able to reflect and cherish the happy memories from the past. Take the time you need to cry, grieve, and heal. Don't be afraid to seek a professional, protect your peace, and partidge in a pear tree!
Lauren London pays tribute to Nipsey Hussle through campaign
If you or your loved one are currently experiencing suicidal thoughts, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or go to the nearest hospital. This blog is dedicated to all of my friends who may be grieving during this season, especially. Natalia, India, Catrina, and Melissa.
Written by: Pametria Dominise