The VA Spotlight – November 2023

Coping Through the Holidays

Can you believe that we are already in the holiday season?  As I sit here writing this newsletter, it really hit me that Thanksgiving is just a few days away.  As a child, the holidays usually mean days away from school and gifts, but as an adult, there’s a lot more involved. 

The holidays can be a time to enjoy your family and friends or maybe just a time to sit down and relax.  The holiday season can also be a time of anxiety and stress.  Some refer to the feelings as “seasonal sadness” or the “holiday blues”, but regardless of what you call it these are difficult times for many people.

While we try our best to enjoy the holiday season, it is important to have some healthy coping mechanisms for those not-so-happy moments.  Here are a few things that I have used to help me cope through the holiday seasons since becoming an adult:

  1. Set a holiday budget:  Despite all of the media hype around the latest gadgets, the holidays are about spending time with the people you love and not spending money that you don’t really have.  There is nothing wrong with buying gifts, but you must be honest about what you can and can’t afford.  Spending time with your friends and family is something that is priceless, and you shouldn’t let anyone make you feel guilty if that is all you have to give.
  • Keep it simple:  Not everything has to be an extravagant event.  There is nothing wrong with scaling back on the holiday festivities as a family.  There may be a few less food items on the Thanksgiving table this year due to high prices, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the meal and the memories being created.
  • Find time to relax:  Even with all of the chaos, you must find time to decompress during the holiday season.  I know that sometimes we get so caught up in cooking, shopping, and other activities that we forget to rest throughout the entire season.  By the time we realize it, the holidays are over and it’s back to the daily grind of work and/or school.  Make some time for yourself even if it means spending a day or two less with the family.

Enjoy this holiday season!  I hope that you will do whatever brings you joy this time of year. 

Happy Thanksgiving!!