The holiday season is one of the most awaited times of the year. But let’s face it. It isn’t the most wonderful time for everyone. For some people, the holiday season is a physically, emotionally, and financially demanding time of the year. To those who are already coping with a mental illness, it becomes a trigger. They end up falling into depression.

There are ways to make the most wonderful time of the year a little better. Here are some of them.

Don’t hesitate to reach out

The pandemic has made a lot of people feel lonely and isolated. If you live thousands of miles away from your family, and you can’t travel over the holidays to spend time with them, then go ahead and reach out to them.

While in-person communication is preferred, you can still feel the love and connectedness with your loved ones via phone or video chat. You don’t have to celebrate alone.

If the lack of connection continues to weigh on you, then feel free to schedule regular video calls with your loved ones. This can help keep the feelings of loneliness at bay.

Don’t force yourself to be happy

Sometimes, you don’t feel as excited about the holidays as everyone around you, and that’s okay. You might have lost a loved one this year. Or maybe you lost a job and you still haven’t found a stable job since then.

You don’t have to pretend that you’re happy during the holidays. Allow yourself to feel any negative emotions and process them. Instead of trying to celebrate, considering doing an activity that you would enjoy — something that would make you happy. It can be as simple as baking cookies or reading a book.

Avoid family conflict as much as possible

During the holiday season, most families gather and celebrate together. While it is supposed to be a happy time, it can sometimes be quite stressful, particularly when family conflict arises.

If seeing your family causes you a great amount of stress, it’s okay to say no. Celebrating with your spouse and your kids isn’t a bad idea after all. Or if you’re single, celebrating with your friends can also be a great way to enjoy the spirit of the season.