When you think of the holiday season, what comes to mind? Is it symbols of jolliness and cheer, or depression and stress? Either way, we must remember that everyone experiences the holiday season differently – especially those living with mental health challenges. In a recent issue of TIME Magazine, American singer and songwriter, Kesha, provides a little insight into how she experiences the holidays and her personal coping mechanisms (“Kesha: The Holidays Are Hard If You Struggle With Mental Illness. Don’t Blame Yourself,” TIME, November 30, 2017).
“Around the holidays, I often feel like I’m supposed to be everywhere, with everyone – all with the added guilt that it’s the season of giving,” says Kesha. “To fight this, I’ve developed a mantra: It’s not selfish to take time for yourself.”
During a time when we’re frequently asked to spend time with large groups of people, or family that we may not always get along with, taking time for yourself is key. Kesha offers some advice that might be helpful for a quick and easy reprieve:
One of the best gifts you can give this holiday season is to just be there – for yourself, your friends and loved ones who are living with mental illness, separated from family or coping with loss. Whether they’re big or small, tendrils of hope and support can help everyone find moments of joy.