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Home for the holidays STILL!


BYLINE: Loraine Fleming,DNP, PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC, Clinical Editor

The holidays even in the best of times bring mixed emotions for many. The anticipation of gathering with loved ones, decorating, enjoying holiday traditions and sharing gifts bring joy and comfort but can also bring anxiety.

Will there be tensions at dinners? Did I get the right gifts? Will I get the right gifts? Did I forget something?

This year’s holiday season is far from typical and for many will bring more anxieties and fewer joys and comforts. Unemployment, isolation, illness and loss related to the pandemic have seriously diminished the traditional uplifting feelings that are often experienced during the holidays. It is important to recognize that an additional layer of stress envelops most of us this year and is not within our control to alleviate it. However, we can make efforts to overcome stressors.

We can increase phone and video contact with our family and friends, create festive environments in our homes and return to simpler pleasures. Cooking, baking, sewing and crafts have taken on a whole new meaning in our lives as we learn to accept the things we cannot change.

During the holidays, some specific things we can do to alleviate the stress and sadness we may be feeling include: maintain our perspective and keep in mind that times will improve; tap into our inner strengths and use the tools we have developed during previous difficult times that helped us get through them; lean on family and friends to support us when we feel overwhelmed.

Getting help when it is needed is a reflection of wisdom and giving help to others is a reflection of our humanity.

Loraine Fleming

Loraine Fleming
Loraine Fleming

DNP, PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC, Clinical Editor