As little children, we are immersed in the magic of the holidays. We are taught that holidays are about hope, peace, love, and joy; about family and togetherness; about traditions and lights and presents and presence. Christmas is usually considered the most wonderful time of the year.

But there are also a lot of us who are struggling deeply in this season, and I want you to know that I see you.

You, who has lost someone you love this year and have no idea how others can be so happy right now when you feel so incredibly broken.
You, who are in a constant struggle with your mental health and feel like it’s taking all of your energy to just make it one more day.
You, who are stressed to the point of breaking from all that is still unchecked on your to-do list.
You, who are dreading being around your dysfunctional family that always sets you back a few months in therapy.
You, who sees the Christmas commercials and the cards and the movies and the Instagram posts and are consumed by the monster of comparison that never fails to steal your joy.
You, who are struggling financially and are not able to provide the material things for your kids that you feel that they deserve.
You, who feels alone.
You, who feels joyless.
You, who is just ready for this season to be over so everyone can go on with their lives.

I see you. I want you to know that there are no rules for coping with this time of year if it really sucks for you.  It’s okay to cancel plans and stay in by yourself – you’ll be missed, but people will understand. It’s okay to ask for help – you are loved and people will want to help you. It’s also okay to receive help – you are human and it doesn’t make you less worthy. It’s okay to go see a therapist – we all need to, honestly. It’s okay to throw your to-do list away – the world won’t end if you don’t get your daughter’s teacher a gift. It’s okay to turn off the tv and to close Instagram – those images aren’t reality. It’s okay to stay on the couch instead of cleaning your house – honestly, no one cares if you didn’t dust and if they do, they’re a bitch. It’s okay to give your kids fewer gifts than they had last year – they would rather snuggle with you and watch movies or bake cookies anyway. Most of all, it’s okay to not be okay right now. You’ll make it through. You’ve survived every day up until this point, and you’ll survive this one too. You are loved.

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