Mental Health

Making space for healthy connections during the holidays

Pilar T. Walker, LMHC, NCC

During the holidays we may feel obligated to give to others. It is important to ensure that we give to ourselves as well. We all know the feeling of the holiday season approaching, whether warm and cheerful or anxious and dreadful. Some of us even experience a mixture of both. The holiday season is a great time to evaluate how and when to make space for healthy connections around and within us. 




To make space for healthy connections, especially during the holiday season, we may need to reset expectations, schedule time for creativity and fun, and explore how to cultivate relationships that best serve us.




Reset expectations by checking in with yourself on what and who is important and why, ensuring that your needs are known to others and yourself, letting go of unrealistic expectations, and focusing on the positives of events and those around us. This may look like scheduling a day to yourself on your calendar, setting boundaries, spending time in nature, scheduling time to indulge in a creative project, or writing a gratitude list.




Connect with friends and family that make you feel safe and understood. Explore how you feel after eating a particular meal, after engaging in a particular activity, or with a particular person. If you are feeling energetic, hopeful, or cheerful after a meal, activity, or after sharing space with someone try to explore how you can schedule to connect more. Maybe you feel exhausted, discouraged, or sorrowful after. If so you may want to explore disconnecting. This may look like contacting a friend to schedule a check-in or meet-up or refraining from engaging in an activity. Healthy connections can also be developed and maintained by giving back to others. Research organizations that can assist you with giving back to others within your community by volunteering. 


Navigating the holidays and protecting your mental well-being can be difficult but support is always available. Start making space for healthy connections today by downloading and subscribing to the  Kiira Health app to meet with a licensed mental health care provider that can assist with learning effective strategies to establish and maintain healthy connections during the holiday season. 




Mental Health Apps to help navigate the Holidays:

  • Exhale - emotional well-being app designed specifically for Black women and women of color.
  • Melanin and Mental Health - promotes the mental wellness of Black/Latinx.
  • The Shine App - provides daily affirmations and allows you to create your own self-care routine within the app itself.
  • Liberate - provides guided meditations specifically for black people and our experiences.
  • The Safe Place - bring more awareness, education, and acceptance on the topic of mental health.