It’s that time of year again, when we’re flooded with images on social media and on advertisements of people gathering around loved ones. Yet for many, the holidays can be a dreaded time, full of stress and pain, sometimes conjuring up feelings of anxiety, grief, loss, or sadness. Regardless of the specific situation that is producing these negative feelings, it can be overwhelming and magnified during the holiday season. So, what can you do when the holidays hurt? And how can you help your loved ones whose own holidays may be hurting? While there’s no easy or one-size-fits-all answer, there are some common strategies that can lead to long-term healing.
A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Brooke Strickland is a full time freelance writer who recently co-authored her first book, “Hooked on Games.” When taking a break from writing, she can be found in a cozy chair with a book, or on the Oregon coast with her two daughters, husband, and two dogs.