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  • Alaina Reichwald, MA LMFT

Handle The Holiday Hump

It's common to notice an uptick of anxiety and depression as the end of year holidays come upon us. As the weather cools, and the sky darkens earlier, many people notice a more quiet and reflective energy moves into their field. In addition, we often spend more time with immediate and extended family, often triggering old patterns and hurts that haven't been yet healed.


There are some simple tools that can help bring more peace and grounding during these darker months:


1. Knowing it is both common and typical to have these more reflective and uncomfortable feelings can help you feel less alone. Allow yourself time to sit with and acknowledge these feelings without resisting or running from them.


2. Use this time to see if there is healing that can happen. Is there anyone with whom you need to make amends? Any apology's that can be made? A letter of love or appreciation that can be sent to someone you care about? We often resist acknowledging errors we have made that may have created a rift in our lives, and this additional reflection can help both bring forward, and if willing also clear that energy.


3. Wind down with the sun and awaken with the sun. As the skies darken, you may notice you become tired earlier, but will often go to bed later. Many people find they may be getting less sleep by watching more television or spending more time on social media as social opportunities this year are less frequent. Our nervous and emotional systems tend to thrive more when we are in tune with the cycles of nature, and getting the sleep we need.


4. Increased self care includes being outside as much as possible during daylight hours which can helps tremendously. If you live someplace with challenging weather, still make an effort to venture outside daily. Exercise is a proven mood elevator. Prioritize it, even if starting out you don't feel like it. Hydrate first thing in the morning, filling the cells in your body up with the energy to accomplish daily goals.


5. Use technology to support your needs. The news is NOT your friend. Fear based news cycles are what sells. And often, in many homes, it is the majority of what's displayed on televisions, often for many hours a day. Instead, spend time listening to upbeat podcasts; reading uplifting books; watch comedy clips; play old favorite television shows; consider getting some simple art supplies to play with; and dance around your home to old upbeat songs you still love. All these efforts can help bring joy into your life.


This contraction in the winter months are part of our external natural world and thus part of our own internal world. Holding space for contraction also allows for a greater expansion come spring, just as nature awakes bringing new life all around us.



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