It’s the holiday season, and many of us are feeling down in the dumps. The pandemic has hit home, and we’re having a hard time hoping that things will get better anytime soon. It seemed like a good idea to write about tips on dealing with this challenge over the holidays during such a difficult time. I’ll go into details below, but here is my number one tip: Don’t let fear take over your life.

1) Remember the good things. We all have something to be grateful for, no matter the circumstances, and even if we don’t feel like it at first we need to remember them during times of sadness because sometimes that gets us through challenging situations.

2) Don’t isolate yourself. It’s easy to want to crawl into bed or a hole somewhere when you’re feeling down, but this is not healthy for you or your loved ones. It’s especially important to stay connected during the holidays because it helps us feel like we’re still a part of things and gives us hope that better days are coming soon.

Young woman ina cardigan with mug in hand spending free time home, staying home, enjoying view,gazing through to the window while remembering the good things

3) Avoid negativity at all costs. You may want to surround yourself with people who will lift your spirits, not drag you down. Surround yourself with positive people, have a good sense of humor, and it will help you see the silver lining in things.

4) Find a way to give back. It’s easy for those feelings of sadness and loss to make us feel useless or overwhelmed, but the best thing we can do is find something that will help others through this difficult time and ourselves. Whether it be donating money, volunteering your skills at a soup kitchen, or making blankets for the homeless, you’ll be amazed at how much good this can do, not only for others but yourself as well.

5) Remember that there is always hope even when things seem like they’re falling apart around us. It may take some time to see it and feel it deep down inside of ourselves, but we all have a little. If you can’t spot it, listen to the people who can. It’s not always easy to see things when we are caught in the middle.

6) Focus on what brings you happiness. It’s easy to get caught up in the sadness of what is happening all around you, but it’s important that we remember there are still things that make us happy. Maybe it’s a favorite book or movie; maybe it’s remembering how excited your kids were when they made homemade cookies with you last year. Maybe it’s walking through the Christmas lights at your local mall. Whatever it is, make sure you do whatever makes you happy, and don’t let anyone tell you not to because they are worried about how much energy it will take from you. So push yourself to dress warmly and protect yourself and take a walk through town or your neighborhood and admire the decor.

bearded man sleeping on bed with white sheet and pillows in bedroom

7) Take good care of yourself and your family by getting enough sleep, eating well, and staying hydrated. It’s no surprise that when we’re tired, hungry, and thirsty, it is much easier to get caught up in feelings of sadness or depression. Make sure you take the time for yourself each day to eat well, go on a walk outside if possible (and safe), drink lots of water, and get some fresh air.

8) Make an effort to do something fun each week. If you’re not ready for the holiday festivities just yet, why not go out and enjoy some time with friends or family at a new restaurant? Or maybe take your kids on a trip to the park followed by hot chocolate, maybe around the fire pit; whatever you choose, try to do it as often as possible for yourself.

You should endeavor to make time for yourself each day, even if it’s just watching your favorite show or reading a book. It’s easy to forget about ourselves when we’re working so hard around the clock, busy with family and social arrangements but taking care of our mental health is one of the most important things we can do during this difficult time. Make sure you get plenty of rest and don’t forget to have a little fun as well. Be safe out there and enjoy this time of the year, as best you can.