Creative Ways to Express Yourself or Cope Around the Holidays

December 21, 2021

The holiday season is here and with it comes a mixture of feelings – some joyful, and full of laughter. While others may experience sadness or heartache. The holidays can be overwhelming with the endless lists, family obligations, pressures to shower people with gifts, and for more introverted people, to mingle with people they’d rather not be around.

Here are a few ways to express yourself and cope this holiday season.


Amy Andrukonis, Supervisee in Clinical Social Work

The holidays can be a magical, stressful, joyful, heartbreaking, blissful, complicated time. If you (like me) notice that your emotions become heightened around the holidays, you may benefit from a special holiday self-care practice. I notice that I crave peace, solitude and comfort around the holidays, so I purposefully wake up an hour earlier each morning to linger in my pajamas, journal, listen to music, drink coffee, and give myself the ease and rest I know I may not be able to access for the rest of the day.

Taking this time for myself before the hustle and bustle begin allows me to enter the day with a “full cup,” instead of feeling depleted and overtaxed as I sometimes do during overstimulating holiday festivities. I challenge you to tune into what you might need this holiday season, and find a way to meet those needs in a self-care practice.

Kasey Cain, Licensed Professional Counselor

A quick search for statistics on stress levels during the holiday season showed that anywhere between 50% to 88% of Americans surveyed reported increased stress levels during the holiday season. During a time that is touted as bringing “tidings of comfort and joy”, people struggle to relax. The expectations of the season bring with them a myriad of stress inducers such as struggling with grief and loss,  managing family visits/travel, change of schedules and structure, pressure to give gifts which can lead to financial strain, and so much more.

Additionally, the holiday season centers on the Christmas experiences, often causing children and families that share other traditions to feel insignificant and ignored. This winter season I offer the following suggestions to support reduced stress levels and increased inclusivity. 

Ways to be More Inclusive During the Holidays: Holiday Season

  • Say “No”- If you are feeling overwhelmed for any reason, it is okay to say no! Do what you want to do or rather, don’t do anything if that is what you fancy. 
  • Try to avoid comparing yourself to others. Remember what you see on Facebook and Instagram is often curated to reflect happy moments. Live in your moment, not someone else’s.
  • Keep up traditions that bring you joy or create new ones. Prepare that special dish of comfort food. Engage in a fun craft. Explore the sights and lights of your neighborhood/town. 
  • While engaging in whatever traditions are most meaningful to your family, you can also help children recognize and appreciate diversity. Reading books is always a window into other worlds. Here are some suggestions: 
  • Invite others to share in your specific traditions. Sharing in different cultural activities and celebrations can lead to increased understanding, diversity, and inclusion.

Until next year, Be Wise!