REAL QUICK: This is the last Psychiatria episode of 2021! I’ll be back in January with the pod you know and love :)

Ah, the holidays. We’ve all heard that the holidays are “the most wonderful time of year.” On a recent episode of We Can Do Hard Things (yeah, I’m a Glennon Doyle fan), Amanda says that the holidays are actually just “The MOST time of the year.” They can be the most wonderful, but they are also often the most sad and weird and stressful and all of the other things. There are traditions and obligations and gatherings, and we all have our own experiences of those. Some of us love them and some of us dread them and some of us fall somewhere in between. Every single one of these experiences is okay! Just because we are taught that the holidays are supposed to be merry and bright doesn’t mean that they have to be. I mean, why else would there be such things as “holiday survival kits”?

I’ve experienced holidays with big family gatherings and holidays all by myself. Sometimes I love how the holidays feel and other times I spend most of them fending off panic attacks. Even as one person, I’ve seen a wide variety of holiday experiences, and that means that the rest of the humans on this earth likely have their own unique range of holiday experiences. The holidays can certainly be a magical time of year, but that doesn’t mean they are invincible. They are incredibly imperfect and human, just like the people who live them. At the end of the day, the holidays are just days. 

I’ve chosen to believe that the holidays are what you make them. We have a lot more say than we think in how we experience this time of year. I believe that we always have a choice in what we do, and especially in how we approach the things we do. Sure, there might be things you feel like you have to do around the holidays, and battles you’d rather not fight. But perhaps there is a way you can bring something new into these situations, even if it’s small. If you find yourself in this place, see if there is something you can do to remember yourself in the midst of all the holiday hoopla. 

This time of year, is indeed about peace and joy and light, but this peace and joy and light is for for you. These days, these holidays, are for YOU. Not for your family, or the community, or the town, or the world. They are for you to find that joy for yourself in whatever way you choose. You get to be creative in finding what you need during this time of year. Let your holidays be as atypical as you want them to be. This is a time for you to spend however you wish, regardless of what the world tells you the holidays “should” look like.

I hope that some of these words meant something to you, and I hope that there is just one moment of light and joy for you this season. And if there isn’t, know that there is always love around you, even when the bright and the merry feels dark and dreary. 

You can find this episode of Psychiatria and all the others on your podcatcher of choice, embedded below, or at the links HERE. Remember, you can send me an email at [email protected]g or message me on Instagram @PsychiatriaPodcast. If you like what I’m doing here, follow us on your podcatcher of choice and leave us a review. As always, take care, stay curious, and I’ll catch ya next year.

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