Whether you celebrate the entire month of Ramadan culminating in the festivities if Eid, 12 days of Christmas Excitement , 8 days of Latka laden Chanukah, with Dreidel spinning and sufganiot eating or Festivus, the holiday season holds high expectations, and for some, deep disappointment.

If someone in your family suffers from a mental illness presenting in a mood or thought disorder, the holidays can be filled with anxiety and sadness. I have some simple suggestions to help you get through the holidays as calmly as possible.

1. Keep the party warm, not raucous. Focus on your guests instead of the activities. Conversation and catching up has its own rewards.

2.Let the party end. As people start leaving, wish them well. Everyone has their own tolerance level. Don’t make them feel badly for ending a game or missing dessert. Be the host or hostess with the caring mostess! Send them off with a smile instead of a concerned glance. ( this also goes for guests that choose not to attend) The season is long. You can get together again.

3.Enjoy your party and guests. The holidays are for everyone. If you spend all your time cooking, serving and cleaning you’ll miss the season. Enjoy your family. Enjoy your friends. Enjoy the now.

Happy Holidays!

Content provided by Women Belong member  Bonnie Lane