Practice self-compassion.

Try not to judge or diminish your feelings, rather meet where you are with friendliness, as if you were greeting a loved one. Remember you are your own best friend. the most important person in your life, is you.

Breathe through the pain.

Instead of contracting around the pain, try softening your body, loosening tense muscles, and breathing deeply into your belly. Imagine, if you will, breathing though your belly button. Belly breathing activates the vagus nerve, a critical player in helping us to calm down.Listen to your own needs and practice self-care. Whether you plan to spend time with family or be alone, listening to your own needs is vital. Perhaps even spend a moment before the holiday to identify what your needs might be and develop a strategy to help you meet them.

Engage in activities that feel meaningful to you.

Whether that means volunteering at the local homeless shelter, curling up with a good book (or three), participating in a spiritual practice, or doing absolutely nothing at all is up to you. Do take some time to identify what activities would bring you a sense of fulfillment and then go do them!

Adjust expectations to be more realistic.

Many of us get hooked into the holiday hype and may slide into fantasy-like visions of what’s to come. Take a moment to gently examine if there’s any fantasy in your expectations and think of ways to replace the fa-la-la fantasy with more reasonable objectives.

Create new traditions.

Who says your holiday traditions have to be traditional? Take a moment to come up with your own traditions by identifying the who, what, when, and where: what is important to you, who, if anyone, you would like to include, and when and where will you carry out this new tradition? Me personally, my partner and I started our own tradition the first year we were together. We sit in bed all day, have a picnic in bed, and watch movies all day long in bed. See a theme here. We just relax.

Know that you are not alone.

Millions if not more, adults have experienced at least one major depressive episode, and a lot are also affected by anxiety. It is also not uncommon for people to experience both anxiety and depression.

Give yourself the gift of support.

If the holiday season brings up pain that is too much to bear alone, reach out to someone who can help you work through it with you. Whether it be a coach, mentor, a close friend, some one that you trust and that is supporting to you.