Merry Christmas?

Merry Christmas?

May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be RIGHT. May you have the right atmosphere, the right circumstances, the right people around you to keep you in the great spirits this Christmas. If not, and chances are that everything will not be RIGHT or go right or be perfect, so here are some things to think about. 

During the holiday season it’s not uncommon to feel a heightened sense of anxiety or depression. It’s also not uncommon to have difficulty coping. This can lead sometimes an increased desire to use substances to cope. You are not alone. The holidays can be a stressful and hectic time when there’s a lot of expectations for happiness at social gatherings and pressure due to family obligations. This year decide what’s best for you. Here are some helpful tips:

1. Decide on a relaxation technique that works well for you. It can be deep breathing, yoga, massage, guided meditation or other relaxation exercises. Use these techniques as often as possible.
2. Decide on which gatherings you can handle and the ones that’s you can’t. Tackle the ones you can and be strategic about the ones you can’t. Know how much to participate in the games, conversation or party activities. Engage in what brings you authentic joy and laughter.
3. Be okay with sending your regrets to the gatherings you can’t attend. Don’t spread yourself thin. Allow yourself time for rest and recuperation in between events.
4. Minimize harmful coping techniques like overdoing it on food or substances. Instead, cope by using the relaxation techniques and by talking more about how you are feeling with a therapist or someone you can trust.
5. Reflect on the reason you celebrate the season. Journal about what you value about the holidays. Spend time doing the things that have the most meaning to you.

Once again I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas Season. Happy Holidays! ☃️


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Marcy Gray

Psychotherapist and Diversity Expert

Marci Gray is the lead psychotherapist and CEO of Gray Matter Health. She is an experienced speaker and corporate trainer as well as consultant and author who specializes in mental health and anti-racism work which is the focus of her PhD research. READ MORE


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