Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

It’s not a hot take to say that 2020 was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year. Globally, nationally, regionally, for many personally. There are some slivers of hope – the vaccines, the US election – but also some signs that things won’t simply improve in 2021 – current transmissions rates in Europe, current discourse in Germany – but I pray that 2021 will be better.

I also hope that you’ll have yourself a merry little Christmas, if you celebrate it, and a couple of moments to recharge and gather strength in any case.

And the right soundtrack for the 2020 Christmas season comes from Phoebe Bridgers (who else could it be):

In Iceland, books are exchanged on Christmas Eve, and you spend the rest of the night reading. People generally take their books to bed along with some chocolate. How cozy and wonderful does that sound?

(More fun facts: Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country, and new books are typically published only during the Christmas season—the frenzy is called Jólabókaflóð, or the Christmas Book Flood.)

Protecting Recovery During the Holiday Season – Advice for Friends and Family

Kenneth Weiner at HuffPost posted advice for friends and family of people recovering from an eating disorder. I thought the advice could also be useful for people who are close to people struggling with depression, especially points 2 & 3: 

2. Be mindful of the needs of your loved one during holiday gatherings. Eating-disordered patients and individuals in recovery are often “people-pleasers,” and will hide their anxiety in an effort to meet the emotional needs of friends and family. If your friend or family member doesn’t feel as though they can attend an event, support them in this decision even if you feel disappointed. If your loved one is willing and able to attend a holiday gathering, support them if they need to “escape” for some fresh air to keep their emotions in check, and be willing to leave early if the festivities begin to feel overwhelming. It may be helpful to agree on a signal or sign that your loved one can use when he or she needs your help to change the subject during a conversation with a nosy neighbor or a tipsy relative, or when he or she needs to take a moment away to regroup.

3. Plan ahead. Provide as much information as possible to your friend or loved one regarding holiday activities – where, when, what types of food will be available and whether alcohol will be served. Information and preparation can help patients in recovery plan ahead, practice flexibility and avoid situations that might trigger an eating disorders relapse.

I hope you all have a few days that are a wonderful as possible.

(via @fraeulein_tessa)