A narrow outdoor stairwell between buildings

We are bringing “Darling Letters” from your inbox to the blog! We love the art of letter writing and believe it helps build authentic community. Our editors and contributors have thoughtfully written encouraging letters to cut through the busyness and speak straight to your heart.

Last year, the holiday season just wasn’t the same. Many of our celebrations were modified or even canceled due to the pandemic. Twelve months later, life has pretty much returned to normal and with that, so has the familiarity of the holiday season. While coming around the table with family and friends brings a lot of joy, these celebrations can also be quite stressful. 

Reuniting with relatives can provoke anxiety, especially when we haven’t seen them in more than a year. Be patient with yourself as you re-enter the dynamics of the family holiday party. 

Be patient with yourself as you re-enter the dynamics of the family holiday party. 

This time of year can also be difficult for those who find themselves feeling lonely and distant from their loved ones. Anxiety surrounding the holidays is normal. Don’t feel ashamed. Instead of dwelling on the worry that occupies your mind, focus on the glimmers of hope and happiness that are revealed during this season.

Understandand even appreciatethat your celebrations might not look like someone else’s, and that is perfectly OK. 

Whether our anxiety stems from the image of a crowded dinner table or the idea of spending another winter evening alone, let’s allow ourselves the time, space and grace necessary to celebrate the season exactly where we are today.

Let’s allow ourselves the time, space and grace necessary to celebrate the season exactly where we are today.

Sincerely,
Olivia Novato, the Darling family

What, if any, feelings of anxiety come up when you think about the holidays? How can you give yourself grace and space to process the stress that comes with the holiday season?

Image via Elizabeth Thorne

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