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Quotes for Those Who Struggle To Feel Joyful During the Holidays

The holiday season is usually an outwardly cheerful one, with twinkly lights and colorful decorations appearing in store displays or around our own homes. Holidays are a chance to gather with family, honor cherished traditions, and show our loved ones how much they mean to us.

But this idyllic portrait isn’t the reality for all of us. A survey by the American Psychological Association noted that 38% percent of respondents felt more stressed around the holidays, while in another survey, a whopping 66% reported feelings of loneliness owing to the holiday season. So those of us who experience difficult feelings at this time of year can take comfort in knowing we’re certainly not alone.

But what can we do when the holiday blues get us down? The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Some of us might benefit from carving out some “me time” as a counterbalance for our chaotic to-do lists, while others may feel better by finding or creating a community of our own to fend off feelings of isolation.

Sometimes it’s necessary to reframe our outlook, and sometimes we just need to wallow in our feelings for a bit. In 2022, Cornell University researchers found that “self-gifting” (exactly what it sounds like) can help us feel more relaxed or content during times of stress — even if that gift is just an hour or two of solitude.

So be sure to  include yourself on your own holiday list, and remember: The season will be gentler on us if we start by being gentler with ourselves.

As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December's bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.
Donald E. Westlake

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You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody.
Maya Angelou

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Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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The holiest of all holidays are those / Kept by ourselves in silence and apart; / The secret anniversaries of the heart, / When the full river of feeling overflows.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Fill your life with stories to tell, not stuff to show.
Joshua Becker

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A candle is a small thing. But one candle can light another. And see how its own light increases, as a candle gives its flame to the other. You are such a light.
Moshe Davis and Victor Ratner

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December has the clarity, the simplicity, and the silence you need for the best fresh start of your life.
Vivian Swift

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Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.
William Shakespeare

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Be thankful for what you have and you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.
Oprah Winfrey

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Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.
Edith Sitwell

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The holidays stress people out so much. I suggest you keep it simple and try to have as much fun as you can.
Giada De Laurentiis

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People think it’s terribly sad to spend Christmas alone, but it’s no sadder, really, than spending any other day alone, is it?
Paula Hawkins

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Despite the pressure and expectation to be some sort of magical glitter elf, if that’s not how you feel, that’s OK.
Rachael Hope

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You're allowed to switch your car radio away from the endless Christmas carols, turn down invitations to parties, make charitable donations in lieu of shopping for holiday presents, or even skip exchanging gifts altogether. None of this makes you a Grinch.
Minda Zetlin

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Featured image credit: saemilee/ iStock

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About the Author
Paola Bennet
Paola Bennet is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She writes a fortnightly newsletter that treasures the mundane, called Small Histories. Find her on Instagram @paolafbennet.
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