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Holidays are the best times to get together with family and reconnect with friends. However, not every family has a healthy relationship. The holidays can be a time where everyone is walking on eggshells. Mental health recovery can also make the holiday time anxiety ridden.
Triggers seeming to be around each corner. Personally, the holidays were never something I was attached to, and being in toxic relationships surrounding the holiday time didn’t help. A turning point for me was meeting my close friends in college.
They are all very festive people — you know the ones. They get Christmas lights two months in advance or go as far to get a exact replica of the Peanuts Christmas tree.
Despite how positive my friends are, they have had their own share of struggles. What always stuck out to me was how each of them found a focus to help through the emotional pain and discomfort.
So, here is my suggestion:
Let’s create our own positive focus in the form of a “Yay box.”
First, find a box — whether it is a decorative box or a shoebox doesn’t matter as long as you can put some little things in it.
Once you have the box, the next thing to do is have some fun decorating it. What I usually do is paste my favorite lyrics on the lid and then add some fun stickers.
The contents of the box are completely up to the individual, but I place some things in it that make me smile, like a photograph of me and my best friend, a photograph of my grandmother, a printout of my favorite poem, an envelope with a letter to myself, a list of movies and songs, nail polish, a drawing pencil, and a candle in my favorite scent.
Once I have all of those things, plus what I will randomly add leading up to the holidays, I make sure to keep the box somwhere easy for me to see.
When I am feeling stressed or anxious, I plan on looking to the letters I wrote myself instead of resorting to unhealthy coping behaviors.
The “Yay box” won’t be able to put everything in place, but it acts as a stand in friend if you are not able to get a hold of anyone, or don’t have someone to reach out to.
It is meant to serve as a reminder of your worth and value, but most of all how loved you are. Be happy with this gift you created for you!
The holidays can be overwhelming and lonely if you don’t have anyone to spend the day with, or if you don’t have close relationships with family members. Something that has always helped me is looking at the pictures of my best friend and me. I look in the “Yay box,” reread my favorite poem or book, and even sing songs to myself.
It gets my head out of any negative path of self-pity and transforms it into gratitude. It also helps to look back and remember the struggle leading me to this exact moment.
Take time to look at the “Yay box” and the creative things you put inside.
Be proud of creating something you put good vibes into.
You are meant to be your own best friend, and confidant so make a point to celebrate you and your journey.
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Kira, recent graduate of Coastal Carolina University (B.A English), is a self-proclaimed bookworm. In 2012 she realized her anxiety was more than a phase and sought out counseling. Through journaling, she learned the value of art as a coping mechanism. Kira continues filling sketchbooks, journals, and bookshelves with inspirations and stories. Rough days come and go but she remains positive and hopes to share this with others who may be struggling to find themselves.
SITE DISCLAIMER: The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.