Coping with the Grinch

Coral Gables Counseling Center - Wednesday, December 05, 2018
By Lisa Jimenez, LMHC

Licensed Mental Health Counselor

The holidays can bring up a full range of emotions for many of us, from joy and excitement, to fear and sadness. Emotions are heightened. Perhaps this holiday season you’re reflecting back on a loved one you have lost. Maybe you’re struggling with your mental health and anxiety is surfacing as holiday parties grow closer. You could’ve just had your first child and be full of love as you start your new family. Who knows!

No matter where you are on the emotional spectrum, here are some helpful ways to be a little more empathetic with those around you this holiday season:

1. Check-in. Self awareness is key. Often times when we’re disconnected from our own emotional state we behave in ways we wouldn’t otherwise. We may snap on someone or give a short remark when really what we need is a hug because we’re feeling totally overwhelmed. Take some time to ask yourself how you’re doing. How are you feeling? What do you need?

2. Step back. Holidays mean different things for different people. If you find yourself quick to assume that someone is the Holiday grinch, take a second and ask yourself what that person may be struggling with. Instead of jumping to conclusions, can we challenge ourselves to practice some compassion for this person?

3. Reach out. At times it can be hard to talk about the uncomfortable emotions such as heartache and loss so we completely avoid these conversations, leaving many of our loved ones feeling alone. This holiday season, I dare you to check in with someone you know is struggling. Don’t keep it surface level. Ask them how they’re doing, really. Lend a listening ear. A little can go a long way.

Finally, if you are that person struggling this holiday season, we hear you. Hang in there and don’t be scared to ask for help. I promise you, you’re not the only grinch in town.