Ace Your Way Through the Holiday Season: How the Post-Break Up Period Can Work for You
An interview with LaTrease Nwosu
By: Musu Bangura-Urban Sentinel Contributing Writer
Even though this time of year causes for celebration, love and thanksgiving, it can also be a very challenging period for some. There can be memories of grief or a difficult break up that took place. Getting through this time of year without being swallowed up by feelings of sadness and anxiety can be easier said than done, but there are helpful activities that can be done to make the journey as smooth as possible. Check out these tips on how to ace your way through the season.
This article will highlight effective ways to get through a season that can be challenging for those suffering from depression or have a hard time with this time of year. Some of those ways will include:
- Be wary of social media
While social media has its gratifying benefits, it can also serve as a dangerous trap for the emotions during this time of year. Timelines are filled with family pictures, engagement announcements and luxury trips. You’re most likely on the other end of those pictures in despair, feeling like it’s the end of the world while scrolling through those pages. This is especially depressing if you’ve just gone through a difficult break-up. “It makes the healing process more difficult, says LaTrease Nwosu, a Relationship Consultant in the DMV area. “It can be very unhealthy overall.” According to Nwosu, it is best to stay away from social media as much as possible, especially from pages that are connected to someone you were previously involved with. “Click the unfollow button.”
- Be the celebration
There’s nothing like being able to tap into your creative juices to birth new traditions or ideas. For one, you can discover new places or events to attend that are different from what you used to do with your former significant other. If you’re in the mood for festivity, have a holiday get-together at your home with those that are in your social circle. Leaving the comforts of home to venture out may be a big step but is possible and can be an enjoyable experience. Nwosu recommends, “Go to spaces that help re-center and reflect; places that won’t bring painful reminders of the past. It is possible to go to spaces that remind you of who you are. “Bars and clubs probably aren’t the best choices right now because they can only lead to desperate decisions.” If you just want to have some alone time, use it as an opportunity to develop some new habits. “Develop self-care practice activities that bring joy and comfort. Stopping by the nearby coffee house can be a good idea.” Go here to see a list of upcoming events that can help brighten your mood.
- Talk to someone who can help
Studies have shown that the winter months can easily bring the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. Feelings of anxiety, loneliness and depression can set in, making the holiday season after a break-up more difficult t get through. It’s important to be aware of resources that are available, such as talking with a mental health professional. “Find someone who can help you do ‘emotional processing,” Nwosu shares. “That way you’ll be able to deal with everything that has been piling up in you that needs to be dealt with.” Seeking help from a mental health professional can be a beneficial step in healing and getting through a dark period. It is important to remove the negative stigma towards mental health and what it means. Professionals are available to provide guidance and care in addressing emotional and mental needs that may not be normally addressed.
- Help out and give back in major ways
Local shelters, adoption centers and even schools need help this time of year. Being in a position to give or simply pay forward is an excellent way to exercise your muscle of resiliency. There are physical, mental and emotional benefits of giving back, whether its through helping out with serving dinner at a homeless shelter, providing blankets and clothes for families who are going through domestic abuse situations or hanging out at the local adoption center to help care for abandoned pets. Your mind will be in a better place, away from negative memories that can only give you the holiday blues.
- Use the season as a time to reflect and prepare
Who were you before marriage, or before your last relationship? Who have you become since that time? These are some of the questions you can ask yourself when journaling or during a quiet time of self-reflection. “Take the time to develop an emotional relationship with yourself, Nwosu emphasizes. In answering these types of questions, new affirmations and ideas of self-development can be developed, creating a positive attitude for the New Year. Who you have in your social circle is also critical during this time of self-reflecting. Are you getting the type of support you need? “There should be a mutual exchange of giving and receiving, says Nwosu when asked about friendships that can potentially be toxic. “There shouldn’t be people around you who are just taking and not giving anything in return, including empathy.”
This holiday season doesn’t have to be filled with resentment or sadness. You are in a position to turn things around for yourself and make it an enjoyable experience. For more information on counseling service, please visit this website or go here to find a therapist. For additional resources on mental and emotional health, please see the following links:
For more information on LaTrease Nwosu, please visit her website at Connecting2Love