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Handling the Holidays

Trigger Warning: Mention of depression/anxiety


Christmas time is a lively time for many; spending time with family and old friends and exchanging gifts under the tree. It’s a time of tinsel and eggnog and colorful lights on illuminating displays on houses. Many indulge in the celebratory day and love and satisfaction from seeing a loved one. Although many are fond of the holiday, there are also others who become overwhelmed, stressed and anxious.

It is natural to feel nervous about buying that right gift, seeing someone you haven’t seen in ages, or even going to a party that your friend has invited you to because they refuse to go alone. Many feel the pressure of this holiday, especially when your expectations of the year don’t match your reality. This can lead to depression and mixed emotions. It happens to everyone. What I will say is to just keep things very simple and don’t have high expectations.


Tell yourself that everything will be okay. If you want to get the ‘perfect’ gift, there is no need to go all extravagant; stay within your budget. There is no need to get something excessive for those you admire because it’s what’s in the heart that counts. Those who truly know that will understand. It’s always fun to create gifts! You can find a list of things on the internet or even things you can create yourself. For the holiday, I have created a cute picture frame for my best friend and for my significant other, and they loved it. It is the thought that counts. 

If you are going to a Christmas event, do one simple thing and enjoy yourself. Enjoy the food and atmosphere rather than turning down an invitation. Rather than turning down the invitation, stay for at least an hour or two. Start a conversation by paying a compliment on someone’s outfit, making a note of something pleasant, or soliciting an opinion. You can even offer any assistance to sort out the food, pour the drinks, hang up the lights, and pull out the tables and chairs. It wouldn’t hurt. I was invited to a Christmas party and was a bit uneasy at first, but I offered to set up the Christmas tree and pull out the food. As someone who has suffered from anxiety, I learned I won’t get through it unless I do it. I told myself I was going to stay for just an hour, but an hour turned into two hours, then three hours and before I knew it, I was there all night, enjoying myself. My anxiety was gone, and I was having a spectacular time. I also made new friends!

christmas tree and presents

Lastly, just try to feel at ease and revel in the holiday. Enjoy the season, spend time with those you care for, bake cookies, play in the snow, sing classic carols, or watch classic movies and TV shows. Drink that eggnog or savor that hot cocoa. Wear that ugly sweater. Be okay with asking for support and limit your worries. Be happy, be healthy in handling the holidays. 

saelly alvarez

Saelly Alvarez

A few words about me

I am a writer. Writing is and will always be my passion. I love to tell stories and express my feelings through my words. When I’m not writing I enjoy hanging out with friends, traveling and reading a good book with a bottle of wine right by my side to end my night.