Coping With Stress During the Holidays

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Holiday shopping, decorating the home and celebrating with family is meant to be fun, but it can be stressful, too.

When times get tense with family, The Rev. Canon Leonard Hamlin Sr. with the Washington National Cathedral suggests praying or pausing and appreciating something within that moment.

“Those tense moments rise up when we have missed perhaps what is right in front of us and to see what we are really thankful for,” Hamiln said.

Rabbi Stephanie Crawley with Temple Micah said sometimes it’s tough because family reminds us of who we used to be. That can be really challenging to deal with, so whatever way you can, allow yourself in all the family chaos to remind yourself who you are.

She said remember to breath and take time for yourself, whether that’s going for a walk or doing something part of your regular routine.

Hamlin said don’t put so much pressure on making everything perfect.

“Sometimes it’s about the imperfections and putting in the kind of effort to help what may not be perfect to help it to get better,” he said.

It’s also important to remember that the holidays can be tough times, too, especially for those who lost someone during the year. Crawley said grief should be talked about.

“To pretend it’s not affecting you is a dishonor to someone’s memory or the memories you shared together,” Crawley said.

 She said if you know someone going through a loss, let them know it’s okay to talk to them.

 “It’s okay to cry,” she said. “It’s okay celebrating your holiday and saying, ‘This year it feels a little different. It feels a little harder.’”

That’s why Hamlin said it’s important to find a community, whether it’s through faith, family or friends.

 “To be able to express those feelings rather than feel the sense of isolation that comes with loss,” Hamlin said.

As for feeling loneliness, also reach out and find a community. If you know someone who may be alone for the holidays, consider inviting them into your home.

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