We're here. We've arrived at THE HOLIDAYS (insert dramatic duh-duh-DUH music). What a mixed-bag the holidays are. Some people love them, others hate them, and most people fall somewhere in the middle.
Here in the U.S., we're about to celebrate Thanksgiving. At this point in history, Thanksgiving is a day where families typically share a meal together and (maybe) think about what they're thankful for.
However, what happens when your family is....complicated (in-addition to turkey, you're being served passive-aggression, arguments, and stress)?
Or what about if you're feeling far-away-from or lacking family and friends, and Thanksgiving highlights your loneliness?
Or perhaps you've lost someone important to you, and the holidays reminds you of how much you miss them.
Lastly, maybe you're going through something really hard- like a divorce, chronic illness, or feeling generally stuck in work and/or relationships. You're overwhelmed, and the holidays create a contrast between where you are and where you want to be.
While I hope Thanksgiving (or the holidays in general for my non-US friends) is a time of coziness and togetherness, I know from being a therapist that for most of us, it's much more complicated than that.
If you relate, I want to send you a simple message today: you're not alone. While the culture projects a message that everyone is laughing and eating surrounded by loved ones, know that many, many people are navigating complex feelings right now.
And that's okay. You're okay.
No, you don't want to feel this way forever, but today, I encourage you to try two things:
1. Practice radical acceptance with the things you can't change right now. For example, say to yourself:
2. If you're struggling with something that you canchange, take small steps to make things better. Here are some ideas/examples:
Whatever your holidays look like, I'm sending you hope and encouragement. Please be kind to yourself during this season.
Brooke Nielsen, LMFT
Brooke Nielsen, LMFT has dedicated over 10,000 hours to supporting Highly Sensitive People as a psychotherapist and global HSP consultant. She practices psychotherapy in Boulder, CO and specializes in working with sensitivity and healing of trauma (EMDR). She's also the founder of Intuitive Warrior, an online platform offering resources and support to Highly Sensitive People worldwide. An HSP herself, Brooke went years feeling overwhelmed and anxious before learning how to support her finely-tuned nervous system. She considers it a joy and an honor to get to pass that knowledge and support on to others.
You are a gift to the world. You aren't alone. We need you here.