The holidays can be hard – it’s normal, so go easy on yourself. But, you can take steps to take care of yourself. Find tips inside. The holidays can be hard – it’s normal, so go easy on yourself. Shorter days, colder weather and expectations to enjoy holiday festivities can lead many of us to feel more stress, anxiety, loneliness and grief. It's normal. No matter what you're going through this year, use the tips below to take care of yourself all season long. Feeling lonely or isolated? Schedule a regular call with a friend or reconnect with someone you haven't spoken too in a while. Fill your space with your favorite music, podcast, audio book or movie. Do things you enjoy to fill the time until you can be with someone again. Volunteer at an organization with a mission that speaks to you. Spend time with animals by volunteering at a shelter or fostering. Dealing with grief or loss? Resist the urge to judge or fake your feelings because grief is complex and you may feel great one minute and sad the next. Give yourself permission to skip celebrating if you don’t feel up to it. If you are celebrating, you can honor traditions you shared with those you’ve lost as a way to feel close to them. You might also make new traditions to honor those you’ve lost and find joy for yourself. Stressed about spending time with family? Plan 15-minute escapes, like walks or trip to the store, ahead of time. Set limits on the amount of time you’ll spend at certain gatherings. Focus on positive memories and activities. Stick with a trusted family member and ask them to stay with you during gatherings. Worried about finances? Set a budget for gifts, travel, food or whatever you typically spend money on. Use the collective concern about rising prices as a reason to try a white elephant or meal exchange. Suggest making a donation in each other’s names this year as a way to give back together. Find more tips for taking care of yourself Additional resources Baltimore and Maryland NAMI Metro NAMI Maryland Roberta's House Maryland Commission of Caregiving National Holiday Self-Care Tips for LGBTQ Youth - The Trevor Project Feeling SAD? How to Fight Back Against Seasonal Depression - AARP Recognizing Holiday Triggers of Trauma - SAMHSA Need more help? If you feel like you need more support, we’re always here to help. CALL 988 is a helpline that offers free and confidential emergency emotional support from mental health specialists, 24/7.