Connecting and Reflecting During the Holiday Season

By Amy Brightman, LCSW

During the winter season we see words like “joyful,” “peace,” “happy,” and “merry.” While the holidays can be a very festive time, it can also be a difficult time. There can be several expectations on us to “celebrate” and attend social gathers, yet at the same time it can feel very lonely. So, as we are in the holiday season and are approaching the New Year, try taking some time to connect and reflect in a helpful way:

Connect with your values
This time of year can be a good reminder to connect with what you value. Ask yourself what makes you happy and identify what is important to you. Pick three areas of your life that you want to connect to and notice what you’re doing well and what you’d like to improve in these areas. From this, you can develop goals and a focus for the New Year. Also, helping others can connect you to your values. During this time of year, there are many opportunities to volunteer and give back to your community and those in need.

Reflect through journaling
Take time to write and be with your thoughts and emotions. Our lives can be so busy and days, weeks, and years can fly by. It feels like just yesterday it was 2012! Carve out time to reflect on how your day was, how you’re feeling, and what you accomplished.

Try new things
The holidays can be associated with tradition. While you’re set on some of the traditional things you do, also try doing something new and changing things up. You never know - it might cause new traditions to develop and a chance for you to make the holiday season your own.

Notice your gratitude
And, as always, I have to put my plug in for gratitude. Take this time to see what you do have and who is around you. Holidays can remind us of people who are no longer in our lives, so remember those people who were important to you while also actively living in your current life. And, remember, don’t jump too far ahead because you’ll miss what is right in front of you.

Wishing everyone this winter season a sense of connection, awareness, curiosity, and gratitude. Season’s greetings!

Amy Brightman is a therapist at Cobb Psychotherapy LCSW. If you are looking for support in finding solutions to enhance your overall wellness, contact Cobb Psychotherapy by calling 718-260-6042 or emailing, and see how therapy can help.

Elizabeth Cobb