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The Journey: the UCC Mental Health Network Blog

Welcome to the United Church of Christ Mental Health Network (UCC MHN) blog, The Journey. Our weekly posts will explore mental health and addiction through the lens of our Christian faith. We will write about how our personal experiences affect our lives and how our spirituality supports our journey. Everyone who is living with a mental health or addiction disorder, or has a loved one who is affected by a mental health challenge or addiction, is on a journey. Together we can connect with each other and share some ways to travel the path of hope and wholeness.

Holidays by Kirk Moore

written by Kirk Moore

“Why aren’t you smiling?  It’s (insert holiday here) and we’re supposed to be joyful!” 

Said to countless people by countless people at family gatherings, parties, or church services relating to holidays.

It’s OK to feel great around the holidays.  It’s OK to celebrate.  It’s OK to laugh, dance, and sing for joy.

It’s not just OK -- it’s wonderful.  Celebrating is wonderful.

But telling folks who aren’t feeling the celebration that they should get with the program isn’t.

Around the holidays, many people feel intensified grief or re-experience trauma.  They don’t want to celebrate in the midst of it.

Please be aware of the range of experience folks have with holidays. You don't have to try to "fix" anything. Give space, presence, and peace to all. 

Here are a few helpful resources

Recognizing Holiday Triggers of Trauma from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Holiday Depression and Stress from Behavioral Health Services North
Holiday Self Care from the Interfaith Network on Mental Illness

Blessings and peace to you.