December 7, 2021 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Taking Care of Yourself During the Holidays

By Matthew Verdun, M.S.

We all get the messages that the holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, togetherness, and love but we don’t always feel that way. Many people have caring families, even those can become overwhelming. Some people have families that are not supportive, causing pain when they try to be close to them. In addition to family stresses, holidays bring about parties where consumption of too much alcohol or other things can cause us problems or financial stresses related to gifts and events. If any of these apply to you, here are some things you can do to stay grounded and connected.

First and foremost, know your limits. Think about your limits with finances, time, and stress. How many people should you buy for and how much can you spend on gift-giving? Do you enjoy giving because it makes you feel good or look good? If you tend to give too much because it feels good, consider whether or not you should give smaller items or find a different approach to feeling better by giving (more on this later). Talk to your family or significant other about realistic limits on how much to spend on each other or on family, friends, and parties.

If you love going to parties and love being included but know there are only so many hours in a day, it may be necessary to decide which parties are required and which are optional. Even social butterflies need to rest their wings occasionally. If you must see everyone you know it may be a good idea to decide which events you are going to see them at.

If you know an event will be stressful you may want to pre-plan your exit. This is true for stressful family events or parties you can’t back out of. If you know your family is going to cause stress it may be good to have strategies to avoid certain topics, consider planning what you will talk about, ways to quickly shift the subject from a sensitive or divisive topic. It may also be good to talk to someone you trust and know will be there about ways to avoid or divert stress or drama.

If you know you tend to enjoy drinks or other substances a little too much make plans in advance Do you have a designated driver or will you take Uber or Lyft? If your friends encourage excess drinking you can make a few good excuses in advance (cutting down because you don’t want to gain weight, some innocuous medication that interacts with alcohol, feeling bloated, etc.). If you find yourself having difficulties because of your drinking you should consult a specialist.

If you feel lonely during the holidays find new activities you can try out. People often volunteer during the holiday season, which is great, but studies show that giving back throughout the year promotes happiness and well-being. Consider continuing volunteer activities after the holidays when those organizations are struggling to find help, this can lead to increased happiness and provide you an opportunity to connect with other people. You can also consider meet-ups or other activity groups. These provide an activity with a readymade group of people with whom to interact.

Finally, if you are feeling depressed or anxious and are worried about your mental health reach out to a professional in your area. Your insurance provider maintains a list of professionals that take your insurance. If you do not have insurance, you can reach out to local mental health organizations or your county mental health agency for referrals. Many cities and counties also use a 211 telephone number or website for social service organizations. If you are having an emergency call 911, if you are having thoughts of suicide call the National Suicide Prevention Line at 800-273-8255.

This article is for informational purposes only, please consult a mental health professional regarding your specific situation or mental health needs or substance use.

Matthew Verdun, M.S.
California BBS License Number: LMFT 85437
matthewverdunmft.com
(424)254-0900

Related Posts

WeHo’s 31st Annual Toy & Food Drive

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The City of West Hollywood and the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station are partnering to help give back to those in...

Congregation Kol Ami To Host World AIDS Day 2021 Event

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

Progressive, Reform Congregation Kol Ami will mark World AIDS Day with a special interfaith observance, combining awareness, remembrance, and speaking...

Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Culinary Arts Program Served Hundreds For Thanksgiving Holiday

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The Los Angeles LGBT Center Culinary Arts program served nearly 900 people Thanksgiving meals making it the largest undertaking so...

The Center Long Beach Older Adult Service’s Rolls Out In-person & Hybrid Programming

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The Center’s Older Adult Services Program rolls out in-person activities and adopts a hybrid programming model.  Socially distant, outdoor in-person...

WeHo Wins ‘Most Business-Friendly City Award’ from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The City of West Hollywood has been awarded the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation’s 2021 Most Business-Friendly City Award....

The Center Long Beach Will Participate In Giving Tuesday

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The LGBTQ Center Long Beach will be participating in Giving Tuesday, a global day of generosity taking place on November...

WeHo Commemorates Transgender Day of Remembrance 2021

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The City of West Hollywood commemorated Transgender Day of Rememberance through a virtual event.  Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) is...

TransGiving Dinner 2021

November 30, 2021

November 30, 2021

The 21st annual Trans-Giving Dinner was held on November 20th at the Unique Woman’s Coalition (UWC) in West Hollywood.  The...

LGBTQ Center Long Beach Adds New Staff

November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

The LGBTQ Center Long Beach has added three new members to its board of directors as well as the new...

34th Annual AIDS Walk Long Beach

November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

The 34th Annual AIDS Walk Long Beach, a benefit for the LGBTQ Center Long Beach and other local providers returned...

LA County Addresses Disproportionate Amount Of Women and LGBTQ Populations In L.A. Jails

November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

On Tuesday, October 19, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors passed a motion that the board hopes will do...

County Board Of Supervisors Approves $3.6 Million To Serve LGBTQ Foster Youth

November 16, 2021

November 16, 2021

L.A County Board or Supervisors has passed a supplemental budget to its fiscal year 2021-2022, which includes an allocation of...

City Council of WeHo Approves Draft Ordinance to Implement a Citywide Minimum Wage

November 10, 2021

November 10, 2021

The City Council of the City of West Hollywood has unanimously approved a draft Ordinance to establish a citywide minimum...

WeHo Approves Resolution Recognizing November As Native American Heritage Month

November 10, 2021

November 10, 2021

The City of West Hollywood City Council has approved a Resolution recognizing November as Native American Heritage Month. The Resolution...

WeHo Halloween Carnaval 2021 Cancelled

October 31, 2021

October 31, 2021

The City of West Hollywood is reminding the community and the region that the City’s annual Halloween Carnaval will not...