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10 Self-Care Reminders for Coping With Emotions Over the Holidays

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The holidays are a triggering time for me and often have led to relapse in the past. For me, the holidays remind me of the sudden loss of family members and friends during November and December over the years. Hypersensitivity to the phone fills the space as my body holds the fear and anxiety of receiving another call of a sudden loss. I internally hold the loneliness and struggle as it’s hard to express even when connected to others.

It’s hard to separate the past and present. It’s hard to stay grounded as the pain of grief and struggle feels like it exists just beneath the surface of my body. I find myself trying to hold everything together during a year when everything feels full of unpredictability, loss and chaos.

There are so many feelings. It’s hard dealing with the guilt of not seeing family members, especially knowing how precious time is and that moments are not guaranteed. I feel responsible for being immunocompromised and high risk since it has impacted our family holiday decisions during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, creating more isolation.

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Managing my different traits related to my disabilities and participating in virtual events and social calls are more difficult for me, but leave me feeling more isolated if I don’t participate. It’s challenging to maintain recovery, and I feel guilty for struggling. It’s challenging to cope with the depression, anxiety and all the other emotions filling all spaces internally and externally. I am working to be gentle and kind to myself this holiday season, but struggling with this too.

So, I came up with these little self-care reminder messages and plugged them into my calendar to receive them throughout the day, every day during this holiday season.

1. Every feeling I am having at this moment is valid.

2. It’s OK to struggle, and it’s OK to ask for help and seek support.

3. When being kind and gentle to yourself is difficult, remember you are worth it. All acts of self-care, no matter how small, are a way to show yourself kindness and gentleness.

4. It’s OK to pause, unplug, and take a break.

5. Having feelings doesn’t automatically mean relapse. It’s OK to feel what I am feeling.

6. It’s OK, and I chose to make space for my grief at every step of the grief process.

7. It’s OK, and I chose to make space for my healing at every step of the process.

8. Take it one moment at a time.

9. My best is good enough. Who I am is enough.

10. My boundaries are valid.

Photo by Beth Tate on Unsplash

Originally published: November 26, 2020
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