Cheer. Joy. Peace. Merry & Bright.

We are surrounded by these words this time of year. Every store you go into has their holiday decorations up and every billboard is promoting their holiday specials. It’s here, whether we like it or not.

And maybe that’s just it. Maybe we don’t like it.

Maybe we are so mentally unwell that we can’t possibly imagine being able to enjoy this holiday. Maybe we are suffering from immense and painful grief. Maybe our anxiety is so overwhelming that we can’t seem to find any cheer in this season.

And that’s okay.

In a season where everyone seems like they are happy, it’s far from the truth. So many people are still suffering from maternal mental illnesses right now, and I could argue that this time of the year brings even more negative emotions for mothers.

We feel the need to be, do, and have all the things during this season. We feel the pressure to provide the perfect holiday for our littles. And we push and push and push those negative emotions aways so much that they come back ten-fold.

Just because the holidays are here doesn’t mean that the negative emotions go away.

So, unlike most holiday mental health posts, I’m not going to provide the “top 5 tips” on how to get through this holiday season. You can google that and get some great results.

What I want you to get out of this article is that it is 100% okay for you to feel your feelings during the holidays. If you are sad, anxious, nervous, grieving, angry, frustrated, lonely, and on and on – that is okay. Don’t push these feelings away, mama.

In fact, welcome these feelings. Let them come to you, sit with them, and then let them leave when they can.

(I know, this is SO much easier to say than to do, but please trust me on this one – it works). Name those feelings with the wheel of emotions, write them down or talk to someone about them (this is a great thing to bring to therapy), and really feel them, physically and emotionally.

Give yourself all the grace you can. Forgive yourself for your actions and emotions, love yourself for just the mom you are, and accept your feelings just as they are.

Know that you are NOT alone. You are absolutely not the only mother who is struggling right now.

And be that mama to say something about it.

Don’t hide your emotions in fear that you might bring someone’s happiness down. Because you never know, that person you are talking with may also be struggling.

You know we are here for you. Our private Facebook group is a great tool for connecting with other moms over the holidays. We also are here for one-on-one support through this season, so please reach out if you think you might benefit from a little extra support.

Hang in there, mama.

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