Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Pause, breathe, try again.
“You are brave to go forth into this season knowing what challenges lie ahead. You are strong for choosing to live and meet and conquer them anyway.” – Xander Bell
For some, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. For others, it’s the hardest. Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, the upcoming holiday season is going to be unlike any other, and we want to acknowledge a few of those hurdles.
It can be heartbreaking and lonesome. For some of us, that’s what we’re enduring to keep ourselves and others safe. We hope that you will honor your need for connection by picking up the phone to talk, text, or video chat with those who fill your heart. It may not be the holiday setting you’re used to or wished for, but take comfort in their presence, even in the digital form. You are never truly alone.
Our anxieties have reached new heights this year. We get nervous about social interactions that didn’t bother us before, or perhaps your anxiety around seeing people has increased. No matter what, it’s valid. You are allowed to be concerned or uncomfortable. But take heart in knowing that you have every right to set boundaries that ensure your safety. And while you can’t control the reactions of others, remember that you are not an inconvenience or a disappointment for needing personal space or respect.
Maybe the meals and elaborate dishes are your favorite part of the holiday season, but for others, they’re the place where stress emanates. Eating disorders impact countless people of all shapes, ages, genders, and races. Eating could be a coping mechanism or it could be a challenge to simply finish a meal. Humans need food to live, and our hope is for you to never deny yourself something you need. We understand that it’s hard to show yourself grace and love, especially in the midst of the commotion of a special gathering, so when you are faced with a moment that feels insurmountable, please find a safe space to pause, breathe, and try again.
To those who have lost a parent, spouse, sibling, child, or friend—your grief does not have an expiration date. The pain and loss you have felt and may continue to feel are real, and this time of year may amplify it. If there is an empty seat at the dinner table or on the couch where your loved one could once be found, we hope that space can be honored through sharing funny stories or memories, expressing your heartache, and allowing room for your grief to exist.