Anna Lindberg Cedar, MPA, LCSW

@therapyforreallife | contributor
Anna Lindberg Cedar, MPA, LCSW is a burnout prevention psychotherapist and consultant whose personal mission is to break beyond the traditional therapy hour to make research-backed self-care concepts more accessible for everyday use. This is why Anna added the Therapy for Real Life podcast (where podcasts are found) and workplace wellness trainings to her counseling practice. Anna delivers evidence-based therapies to adults, couples and executive teams in the Bay Area - as well as speaking tours and engagements far beyond. Workplaces across sectors hire Anna to facilitate her Burnout Prevention Hack-a-Thon in the workplace - an opportunity for staff to bond over self-care strategies as they learn evidence-backed self-care strategies in a fun and interactive way. Anna's work is built on the belief that we each have infinite capacity for growth, change, and connection. Find out more: TherapyForRealLife.com .

How to Easily Quiet Inner Critic With Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression have a powerful impact on the way we think. You may have noticed your own inner critic lash out in times of stress, attacking your self-esteem, second-guessing your decisions and making you feel hopeless about the future. Rather than participating in the negative cycle of critical thoughts, comfort yourself with positive reframes to help you feel more motivated, confident and empowered to overcome anxiety and depression. Practice one of the reframes below when you are feeling stressed and pay attention to the impact it has on your mood. Remember: You deserve to be happy! Thought: I feel worthless. Reframe: I am good enough. Thought: Today was awful! Reframe: Tomorrow is a new day. Thought: I’m such an idiot. Reframe: Everyone makes mistakes. Thought: I feel like garbage. Reframe: I deserve to be happy. Thought: It’s all my fault. Reframe: I can take responsibility for my actions without beating myself up for it. Thought: I don’t know what to do. Reframe: Not knowing is part of the process of finding out. Thought: I’m not good enough. Reframe: I’m doing the best I can. Thought: Don’t get close. I’ll just get hurt. Reframe: There is bravery in vulnerability. Thought: I can’t believe I did something so stupid. Reframe: I learn something new every day. Thought: I can’t do this. Reframe: I am not alone. Thought: I am ugly. Reframe: I can love myself for who I am. Thought: When will this feeling end? Reframe: I can stay present in this one moment and breathe. Thought: There is something wrong with me. Reframe: I have so much to offer. Thought: Why does everyone else have it figured out? Reframe: Other people are struggling too, even if I can’t see it. Thought: I am a failure. Reframe: I feel this way when I am stressed, and it will pass. Thought: I can’t take this anymore. Reframe: I am strong, even when I don’t feel like I am. Thought: I am so ashamed. Reframe: I’m not the only one who feels this way. Thought: No one really loves me. Reframe: Learning to love myself will help me feel love from others. When you make it to the end of this list, go ahead and start again. Taming your inner critic will take practice and will come more easily the more you do it. You are not alone. Anna Lindberg Cedar, MPA, LCSW #64284 is a therapist providing counseling to adults, teens and couples in Oakland. She is a fierce advocate for mental health and a strong believer in the power of self-care. Find out more: www.annacedar.com We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Thinkstock photo via Sergey_Peterman

A Self-Care Checklist for Surviving the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, which brings a lot of happy celebrations. The holidays can also bring a lot of difficult emotional triggers, such as painful memories, grief for family members who can’t be with us, or challenging dynamics with family members who are with us. Use this checklist to plan your self-care so that you can enjoy the upcoming holidays to their fullest: 1. Take time for yourself. It is easy to feel lost or overwhelmed during all of the holiday hubbub. Even if you are not at home for the holidays, plan ways to make space and time for yourself to decompress. Seek out a quiet space from time to time where you can collect your thoughts and recenter yourself as need be. 2. Connect with your breath. The holiday season can trigger all kinds of anxiety: social anxiety, performance anxiety, worry about family interactions, or just plain old holiday stress. Tuning into your breath will give you a good sense of your anxiety level. Is your heart racing or breathing quickened? Then it is probably a good time to slow down with some deep breaths. Breathe gently and deeply in moments of holiday stress, giving yourself permission to let go of all of the distractions around you to just breathe  —  even if only for a moment. 3. Be mindful about drug and alcohol use. The holidays are filled with fun gatherings and parties, which sometimes also means lots and lots of alcohol will be around. You may feel tempted to use drugs and alcohol to take the edge off of holiday stress or as a form of joyful celebration. Should you decide to use drugs or consume alcohol, try being mindful and intentional about your use. Pick a personal limit that feels healthy and realistic. Check in with yourself before your next glass to make a conscious decision about your use and to know when it is time to take a break. 4. Be mindful (and kind) as you navigate your relationship with food. You might feel subtle or not-so-subtle peer pressure to stuff your belly with all of those delicious holiday treats. Find balance for yourself by enjoying special holiday food, while also paying attention to your body’s cues of hunger, fullness and satiation. Listen to what your body needs. 5. Take care of yourself during difficult interactions with family. The holiday season often means being in spaces with people who you may not see the rest of the year. Sometimes this means seeing family or individuals who you would rather avoid because of past hurts. Pay attention to difficult family dynamics and take steps to get the support you need. Consider having a special self-care buddy — someone who you can check in with either in-person or over text to talk about how you are feeling. The crisis text line is another support that you can use if you are not sure who to reach out to in a moment of stress. 6. Make room for grief during the holidays if you are missing loved ones who have passed. Consider making a place at the table, having a moment of silence, or sharing favorite memories of loved ones who are missed during the holiday season. Joy and sadness can exist in the very same moment, so leave room for both as much as you need. 7. Remember that holiday stress will pass. Keeping a strong sense of self during the holiday season will give you a sense of consistency and security during the ups and downs of the holiday season. Enjoy this time, while knowing that the stress of this season will eventually come to a close. Be kind to yourself. And happy holidays! We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Getty image via Viktor_Gladkov

A Self-Care Checklist for Surviving the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, which brings a lot of happy celebrations. The holidays can also bring a lot of difficult emotional triggers, such as painful memories, grief for family members who can’t be with us, or challenging dynamics with family members who are with us. Use this checklist to plan your self-care so that you can enjoy the upcoming holidays to their fullest: 1. Take time for yourself. It is easy to feel lost or overwhelmed during all of the holiday hubbub. Even if you are not at home for the holidays, plan ways to make space and time for yourself to decompress. Seek out a quiet space from time to time where you can collect your thoughts and recenter yourself as need be. 2. Connect with your breath. The holiday season can trigger all kinds of anxiety: social anxiety, performance anxiety, worry about family interactions, or just plain old holiday stress. Tuning into your breath will give you a good sense of your anxiety level. Is your heart racing or breathing quickened? Then it is probably a good time to slow down with some deep breaths. Breathe gently and deeply in moments of holiday stress, giving yourself permission to let go of all of the distractions around you to just breathe  —  even if only for a moment. 3. Be mindful about drug and alcohol use. The holidays are filled with fun gatherings and parties, which sometimes also means lots and lots of alcohol will be around. You may feel tempted to use drugs and alcohol to take the edge off of holiday stress or as a form of joyful celebration. Should you decide to use drugs or consume alcohol, try being mindful and intentional about your use. Pick a personal limit that feels healthy and realistic. Check in with yourself before your next glass to make a conscious decision about your use and to know when it is time to take a break. 4. Be mindful (and kind) as you navigate your relationship with food. You might feel subtle or not-so-subtle peer pressure to stuff your belly with all of those delicious holiday treats. Find balance for yourself by enjoying special holiday food, while also paying attention to your body’s cues of hunger, fullness and satiation. Listen to what your body needs. 5. Take care of yourself during difficult interactions with family. The holiday season often means being in spaces with people who you may not see the rest of the year. Sometimes this means seeing family or individuals who you would rather avoid because of past hurts. Pay attention to difficult family dynamics and take steps to get the support you need. Consider having a special self-care buddy — someone who you can check in with either in-person or over text to talk about how you are feeling. The crisis text line is another support that you can use if you are not sure who to reach out to in a moment of stress. 6. Make room for grief during the holidays if you are missing loved ones who have passed. Consider making a place at the table, having a moment of silence, or sharing favorite memories of loved ones who are missed during the holiday season. Joy and sadness can exist in the very same moment, so leave room for both as much as you need. 7. Remember that holiday stress will pass. Keeping a strong sense of self during the holiday season will give you a sense of consistency and security during the ups and downs of the holiday season. Enjoy this time, while knowing that the stress of this season will eventually come to a close. Be kind to yourself. And happy holidays! We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Getty image via Viktor_Gladkov

A Self-Care Checklist for Surviving the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, which brings a lot of happy celebrations. The holidays can also bring a lot of difficult emotional triggers, such as painful memories, grief for family members who can’t be with us, or challenging dynamics with family members who are with us. Use this checklist to plan your self-care so that you can enjoy the upcoming holidays to their fullest: 1. Take time for yourself. It is easy to feel lost or overwhelmed during all of the holiday hubbub. Even if you are not at home for the holidays, plan ways to make space and time for yourself to decompress. Seek out a quiet space from time to time where you can collect your thoughts and recenter yourself as need be. 2. Connect with your breath. The holiday season can trigger all kinds of anxiety: social anxiety, performance anxiety, worry about family interactions, or just plain old holiday stress. Tuning into your breath will give you a good sense of your anxiety level. Is your heart racing or breathing quickened? Then it is probably a good time to slow down with some deep breaths. Breathe gently and deeply in moments of holiday stress, giving yourself permission to let go of all of the distractions around you to just breathe  —  even if only for a moment. 3. Be mindful about drug and alcohol use. The holidays are filled with fun gatherings and parties, which sometimes also means lots and lots of alcohol will be around. You may feel tempted to use drugs and alcohol to take the edge off of holiday stress or as a form of joyful celebration. Should you decide to use drugs or consume alcohol, try being mindful and intentional about your use. Pick a personal limit that feels healthy and realistic. Check in with yourself before your next glass to make a conscious decision about your use and to know when it is time to take a break. 4. Be mindful (and kind) as you navigate your relationship with food. You might feel subtle or not-so-subtle peer pressure to stuff your belly with all of those delicious holiday treats. Find balance for yourself by enjoying special holiday food, while also paying attention to your body’s cues of hunger, fullness and satiation. Listen to what your body needs. 5. Take care of yourself during difficult interactions with family. The holiday season often means being in spaces with people who you may not see the rest of the year. Sometimes this means seeing family or individuals who you would rather avoid because of past hurts. Pay attention to difficult family dynamics and take steps to get the support you need. Consider having a special self-care buddy — someone who you can check in with either in-person or over text to talk about how you are feeling. The crisis text line is another support that you can use if you are not sure who to reach out to in a moment of stress. 6. Make room for grief during the holidays if you are missing loved ones who have passed. Consider making a place at the table, having a moment of silence, or sharing favorite memories of loved ones who are missed during the holiday season. Joy and sadness can exist in the very same moment, so leave room for both as much as you need. 7. Remember that holiday stress will pass. Keeping a strong sense of self during the holiday season will give you a sense of consistency and security during the ups and downs of the holiday season. Enjoy this time, while knowing that the stress of this season will eventually come to a close. Be kind to yourself. And happy holidays! We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Getty image via Viktor_Gladkov

A Self-Care Checklist for Surviving the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, which brings a lot of happy celebrations. The holidays can also bring a lot of difficult emotional triggers, such as painful memories, grief for family members who can’t be with us, or challenging dynamics with family members who are with us. Use this checklist to plan your self-care so that you can enjoy the upcoming holidays to their fullest: 1. Take time for yourself. It is easy to feel lost or overwhelmed during all of the holiday hubbub. Even if you are not at home for the holidays, plan ways to make space and time for yourself to decompress. Seek out a quiet space from time to time where you can collect your thoughts and recenter yourself as need be. 2. Connect with your breath. The holiday season can trigger all kinds of anxiety: social anxiety, performance anxiety, worry about family interactions, or just plain old holiday stress. Tuning into your breath will give you a good sense of your anxiety level. Is your heart racing or breathing quickened? Then it is probably a good time to slow down with some deep breaths. Breathe gently and deeply in moments of holiday stress, giving yourself permission to let go of all of the distractions around you to just breathe  —  even if only for a moment. 3. Be mindful about drug and alcohol use. The holidays are filled with fun gatherings and parties, which sometimes also means lots and lots of alcohol will be around. You may feel tempted to use drugs and alcohol to take the edge off of holiday stress or as a form of joyful celebration. Should you decide to use drugs or consume alcohol, try being mindful and intentional about your use. Pick a personal limit that feels healthy and realistic. Check in with yourself before your next glass to make a conscious decision about your use and to know when it is time to take a break. 4. Be mindful (and kind) as you navigate your relationship with food. You might feel subtle or not-so-subtle peer pressure to stuff your belly with all of those delicious holiday treats. Find balance for yourself by enjoying special holiday food, while also paying attention to your body’s cues of hunger, fullness and satiation. Listen to what your body needs. 5. Take care of yourself during difficult interactions with family. The holiday season often means being in spaces with people who you may not see the rest of the year. Sometimes this means seeing family or individuals who you would rather avoid because of past hurts. Pay attention to difficult family dynamics and take steps to get the support you need. Consider having a special self-care buddy — someone who you can check in with either in-person or over text to talk about how you are feeling. The crisis text line is another support that you can use if you are not sure who to reach out to in a moment of stress. 6. Make room for grief during the holidays if you are missing loved ones who have passed. Consider making a place at the table, having a moment of silence, or sharing favorite memories of loved ones who are missed during the holiday season. Joy and sadness can exist in the very same moment, so leave room for both as much as you need. 7. Remember that holiday stress will pass. Keeping a strong sense of self during the holiday season will give you a sense of consistency and security during the ups and downs of the holiday season. Enjoy this time, while knowing that the stress of this season will eventually come to a close. Be kind to yourself. And happy holidays! We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Getty image via Viktor_Gladkov

A Self-Care Checklist for Surviving the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, which brings a lot of happy celebrations. The holidays can also bring a lot of difficult emotional triggers, such as painful memories, grief for family members who can’t be with us, or challenging dynamics with family members who are with us. Use this checklist to plan your self-care so that you can enjoy the upcoming holidays to their fullest: 1. Take time for yourself. It is easy to feel lost or overwhelmed during all of the holiday hubbub. Even if you are not at home for the holidays, plan ways to make space and time for yourself to decompress. Seek out a quiet space from time to time where you can collect your thoughts and recenter yourself as need be. 2. Connect with your breath. The holiday season can trigger all kinds of anxiety: social anxiety, performance anxiety, worry about family interactions, or just plain old holiday stress. Tuning into your breath will give you a good sense of your anxiety level. Is your heart racing or breathing quickened? Then it is probably a good time to slow down with some deep breaths. Breathe gently and deeply in moments of holiday stress, giving yourself permission to let go of all of the distractions around you to just breathe  —  even if only for a moment. 3. Be mindful about drug and alcohol use. The holidays are filled with fun gatherings and parties, which sometimes also means lots and lots of alcohol will be around. You may feel tempted to use drugs and alcohol to take the edge off of holiday stress or as a form of joyful celebration. Should you decide to use drugs or consume alcohol, try being mindful and intentional about your use. Pick a personal limit that feels healthy and realistic. Check in with yourself before your next glass to make a conscious decision about your use and to know when it is time to take a break. 4. Be mindful (and kind) as you navigate your relationship with food. You might feel subtle or not-so-subtle peer pressure to stuff your belly with all of those delicious holiday treats. Find balance for yourself by enjoying special holiday food, while also paying attention to your body’s cues of hunger, fullness and satiation. Listen to what your body needs. 5. Take care of yourself during difficult interactions with family. The holiday season often means being in spaces with people who you may not see the rest of the year. Sometimes this means seeing family or individuals who you would rather avoid because of past hurts. Pay attention to difficult family dynamics and take steps to get the support you need. Consider having a special self-care buddy — someone who you can check in with either in-person or over text to talk about how you are feeling. The crisis text line is another support that you can use if you are not sure who to reach out to in a moment of stress. 6. Make room for grief during the holidays if you are missing loved ones who have passed. Consider making a place at the table, having a moment of silence, or sharing favorite memories of loved ones who are missed during the holiday season. Joy and sadness can exist in the very same moment, so leave room for both as much as you need. 7. Remember that holiday stress will pass. Keeping a strong sense of self during the holiday season will give you a sense of consistency and security during the ups and downs of the holiday season. Enjoy this time, while knowing that the stress of this season will eventually come to a close. Be kind to yourself. And happy holidays! We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Getty image via Viktor_Gladkov

A Self-Care Checklist for Surviving the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, which brings a lot of happy celebrations. The holidays can also bring a lot of difficult emotional triggers, such as painful memories, grief for family members who can’t be with us, or challenging dynamics with family members who are with us. Use this checklist to plan your self-care so that you can enjoy the upcoming holidays to their fullest: 1. Take time for yourself. It is easy to feel lost or overwhelmed during all of the holiday hubbub. Even if you are not at home for the holidays, plan ways to make space and time for yourself to decompress. Seek out a quiet space from time to time where you can collect your thoughts and recenter yourself as need be. 2. Connect with your breath. The holiday season can trigger all kinds of anxiety: social anxiety, performance anxiety, worry about family interactions, or just plain old holiday stress. Tuning into your breath will give you a good sense of your anxiety level. Is your heart racing or breathing quickened? Then it is probably a good time to slow down with some deep breaths. Breathe gently and deeply in moments of holiday stress, giving yourself permission to let go of all of the distractions around you to just breathe  —  even if only for a moment. 3. Be mindful about drug and alcohol use. The holidays are filled with fun gatherings and parties, which sometimes also means lots and lots of alcohol will be around. You may feel tempted to use drugs and alcohol to take the edge off of holiday stress or as a form of joyful celebration. Should you decide to use drugs or consume alcohol, try being mindful and intentional about your use. Pick a personal limit that feels healthy and realistic. Check in with yourself before your next glass to make a conscious decision about your use and to know when it is time to take a break. 4. Be mindful (and kind) as you navigate your relationship with food. You might feel subtle or not-so-subtle peer pressure to stuff your belly with all of those delicious holiday treats. Find balance for yourself by enjoying special holiday food, while also paying attention to your body’s cues of hunger, fullness and satiation. Listen to what your body needs. 5. Take care of yourself during difficult interactions with family. The holiday season often means being in spaces with people who you may not see the rest of the year. Sometimes this means seeing family or individuals who you would rather avoid because of past hurts. Pay attention to difficult family dynamics and take steps to get the support you need. Consider having a special self-care buddy — someone who you can check in with either in-person or over text to talk about how you are feeling. The crisis text line is another support that you can use if you are not sure who to reach out to in a moment of stress. 6. Make room for grief during the holidays if you are missing loved ones who have passed. Consider making a place at the table, having a moment of silence, or sharing favorite memories of loved ones who are missed during the holiday season. Joy and sadness can exist in the very same moment, so leave room for both as much as you need. 7. Remember that holiday stress will pass. Keeping a strong sense of self during the holiday season will give you a sense of consistency and security during the ups and downs of the holiday season. Enjoy this time, while knowing that the stress of this season will eventually come to a close. Be kind to yourself. And happy holidays! We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Getty image via Viktor_Gladkov

A Self-Care Checklist for Surviving the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, which brings a lot of happy celebrations. The holidays can also bring a lot of difficult emotional triggers, such as painful memories, grief for family members who can’t be with us, or challenging dynamics with family members who are with us. Use this checklist to plan your self-care so that you can enjoy the upcoming holidays to their fullest: 1. Take time for yourself. It is easy to feel lost or overwhelmed during all of the holiday hubbub. Even if you are not at home for the holidays, plan ways to make space and time for yourself to decompress. Seek out a quiet space from time to time where you can collect your thoughts and recenter yourself as need be. 2. Connect with your breath. The holiday season can trigger all kinds of anxiety: social anxiety, performance anxiety, worry about family interactions, or just plain old holiday stress. Tuning into your breath will give you a good sense of your anxiety level. Is your heart racing or breathing quickened? Then it is probably a good time to slow down with some deep breaths. Breathe gently and deeply in moments of holiday stress, giving yourself permission to let go of all of the distractions around you to just breathe  —  even if only for a moment. 3. Be mindful about drug and alcohol use. The holidays are filled with fun gatherings and parties, which sometimes also means lots and lots of alcohol will be around. You may feel tempted to use drugs and alcohol to take the edge off of holiday stress or as a form of joyful celebration. Should you decide to use drugs or consume alcohol, try being mindful and intentional about your use. Pick a personal limit that feels healthy and realistic. Check in with yourself before your next glass to make a conscious decision about your use and to know when it is time to take a break. 4. Be mindful (and kind) as you navigate your relationship with food. You might feel subtle or not-so-subtle peer pressure to stuff your belly with all of those delicious holiday treats. Find balance for yourself by enjoying special holiday food, while also paying attention to your body’s cues of hunger, fullness and satiation. Listen to what your body needs. 5. Take care of yourself during difficult interactions with family. The holiday season often means being in spaces with people who you may not see the rest of the year. Sometimes this means seeing family or individuals who you would rather avoid because of past hurts. Pay attention to difficult family dynamics and take steps to get the support you need. Consider having a special self-care buddy — someone who you can check in with either in-person or over text to talk about how you are feeling. The crisis text line is another support that you can use if you are not sure who to reach out to in a moment of stress. 6. Make room for grief during the holidays if you are missing loved ones who have passed. Consider making a place at the table, having a moment of silence, or sharing favorite memories of loved ones who are missed during the holiday season. Joy and sadness can exist in the very same moment, so leave room for both as much as you need. 7. Remember that holiday stress will pass. Keeping a strong sense of self during the holiday season will give you a sense of consistency and security during the ups and downs of the holiday season. Enjoy this time, while knowing that the stress of this season will eventually come to a close. Be kind to yourself. And happy holidays! We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Getty image via Viktor_Gladkov

A Self-Care Checklist for Surviving the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, which brings a lot of happy celebrations. The holidays can also bring a lot of difficult emotional triggers, such as painful memories, grief for family members who can’t be with us, or challenging dynamics with family members who are with us. Use this checklist to plan your self-care so that you can enjoy the upcoming holidays to their fullest: 1. Take time for yourself. It is easy to feel lost or overwhelmed during all of the holiday hubbub. Even if you are not at home for the holidays, plan ways to make space and time for yourself to decompress. Seek out a quiet space from time to time where you can collect your thoughts and recenter yourself as need be. 2. Connect with your breath. The holiday season can trigger all kinds of anxiety: social anxiety, performance anxiety, worry about family interactions, or just plain old holiday stress. Tuning into your breath will give you a good sense of your anxiety level. Is your heart racing or breathing quickened? Then it is probably a good time to slow down with some deep breaths. Breathe gently and deeply in moments of holiday stress, giving yourself permission to let go of all of the distractions around you to just breathe  —  even if only for a moment. 3. Be mindful about drug and alcohol use. The holidays are filled with fun gatherings and parties, which sometimes also means lots and lots of alcohol will be around. You may feel tempted to use drugs and alcohol to take the edge off of holiday stress or as a form of joyful celebration. Should you decide to use drugs or consume alcohol, try being mindful and intentional about your use. Pick a personal limit that feels healthy and realistic. Check in with yourself before your next glass to make a conscious decision about your use and to know when it is time to take a break. 4. Be mindful (and kind) as you navigate your relationship with food. You might feel subtle or not-so-subtle peer pressure to stuff your belly with all of those delicious holiday treats. Find balance for yourself by enjoying special holiday food, while also paying attention to your body’s cues of hunger, fullness and satiation. Listen to what your body needs. 5. Take care of yourself during difficult interactions with family. The holiday season often means being in spaces with people who you may not see the rest of the year. Sometimes this means seeing family or individuals who you would rather avoid because of past hurts. Pay attention to difficult family dynamics and take steps to get the support you need. Consider having a special self-care buddy — someone who you can check in with either in-person or over text to talk about how you are feeling. The crisis text line is another support that you can use if you are not sure who to reach out to in a moment of stress. 6. Make room for grief during the holidays if you are missing loved ones who have passed. Consider making a place at the table, having a moment of silence, or sharing favorite memories of loved ones who are missed during the holiday season. Joy and sadness can exist in the very same moment, so leave room for both as much as you need. 7. Remember that holiday stress will pass. Keeping a strong sense of self during the holiday season will give you a sense of consistency and security during the ups and downs of the holiday season. Enjoy this time, while knowing that the stress of this season will eventually come to a close. Be kind to yourself. And happy holidays! We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Getty image via Viktor_Gladkov

A Self-Care Checklist for Surviving the Holidays

The holidays are upon us, which brings a lot of happy celebrations. The holidays can also bring a lot of difficult emotional triggers, such as painful memories, grief for family members who can’t be with us, or challenging dynamics with family members who are with us. Use this checklist to plan your self-care so that you can enjoy the upcoming holidays to their fullest: 1. Take time for yourself. It is easy to feel lost or overwhelmed during all of the holiday hubbub. Even if you are not at home for the holidays, plan ways to make space and time for yourself to decompress. Seek out a quiet space from time to time where you can collect your thoughts and recenter yourself as need be. 2. Connect with your breath. The holiday season can trigger all kinds of anxiety: social anxiety, performance anxiety, worry about family interactions, or just plain old holiday stress. Tuning into your breath will give you a good sense of your anxiety level. Is your heart racing or breathing quickened? Then it is probably a good time to slow down with some deep breaths. Breathe gently and deeply in moments of holiday stress, giving yourself permission to let go of all of the distractions around you to just breathe  —  even if only for a moment. 3. Be mindful about drug and alcohol use. The holidays are filled with fun gatherings and parties, which sometimes also means lots and lots of alcohol will be around. You may feel tempted to use drugs and alcohol to take the edge off of holiday stress or as a form of joyful celebration. Should you decide to use drugs or consume alcohol, try being mindful and intentional about your use. Pick a personal limit that feels healthy and realistic. Check in with yourself before your next glass to make a conscious decision about your use and to know when it is time to take a break. 4. Be mindful (and kind) as you navigate your relationship with food. You might feel subtle or not-so-subtle peer pressure to stuff your belly with all of those delicious holiday treats. Find balance for yourself by enjoying special holiday food, while also paying attention to your body’s cues of hunger, fullness and satiation. Listen to what your body needs. 5. Take care of yourself during difficult interactions with family. The holiday season often means being in spaces with people who you may not see the rest of the year. Sometimes this means seeing family or individuals who you would rather avoid because of past hurts. Pay attention to difficult family dynamics and take steps to get the support you need. Consider having a special self-care buddy — someone who you can check in with either in-person or over text to talk about how you are feeling. The crisis text line is another support that you can use if you are not sure who to reach out to in a moment of stress. 6. Make room for grief during the holidays if you are missing loved ones who have passed. Consider making a place at the table, having a moment of silence, or sharing favorite memories of loved ones who are missed during the holiday season. Joy and sadness can exist in the very same moment, so leave room for both as much as you need. 7. Remember that holiday stress will pass. Keeping a strong sense of self during the holiday season will give you a sense of consistency and security during the ups and downs of the holiday season. Enjoy this time, while knowing that the stress of this season will eventually come to a close. Be kind to yourself. And happy holidays! We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Getty image via Viktor_Gladkov