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“The holidays come sprinkled with promises of “brightness” and “cheer.” It’s a universally meaningful time for millions of people, and I would argue that this sense of connectedness is a large part of what makes the season seem sort of magical. Yet for many people, the winter months don’t always live up to their heartwarming reputation. According to a study for American Psychological Association, 26 percent of people feel lonely over the holidays and 38 percent reported an increase in stress.

A lot of people aren’t able to make it home to see their loved ones. Others are enclosed by herds of relatives and still feel a sense of isolation. No matter what your situation, it is NOT uncommon to feel lonely in these months. Going home can stir up emotions we’ve swept under the rug or may not even be aware of. We’re often swung back into settings where a lot of complex memories took place. Some may be joyful but others are painful.

Many children feel lonely or outcast at some point in their development. In many homes, kids are seen by their parents or early caretakers as good, bad, sharp, slow, burdensome, worrisome, disappointing or destined for greatness. These labels and expectations can hurt us in conscious and unconscious ways throughout our development. When we’re thrown back into that childhood setting, or around people we grew up with, we sometimes feel like kids again on the inside, re-experiencing old feelings or just not feeling ourselves. Dr. Dan Siegel refers to this phenomenon as “getting lost in familiar places.” This vulnerability is all the more reason to practice self-compassion and to be wary of old familiar hurtful ways we can think about ourselves. With that in mind, here are a few strategies that can help you stay yourself at the close of your year and on into the next.”

To find out what those 5 ways are, please click HERE

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