Cross-posted from my other blog. I think this is relevant for lots of folks.
My heart goes out to folks who find this time of year difficult, daunting, draining, and somewhat or completely debilitating.
I have not quite found a way to finesse the holidays, but I am sure working on it.
Sassafras Lowery does finesse the holidays and has a great post, "Queerly Reclaiming the Holidays," which I first read last year...and which I think is pretty broadly useful.
I've worked on #2 and #3 this year, and at times it has helped me feel better and also bond with my partner and friends. But at the same time, if the holidays already feel like a lot of work for you, you might end up even more drained.
My advice is do what you can when you can to the extent that it makes you feel good OR to the extent that it helps you work through the bullshit and baggage that might emerge or present itself...so that you can, potentially, feel good. For example, there is so much pressure to be and feel happy this season that my impulse to repress feelings of depression, grief, guilt, etc. is strengthened. But rather than ignoring it, I am trying to face it, express it. I have also tried harder to keep my emotional lines of communication open because my instinct is to cut those channels off in an effort to be happy (for others). I have been finding myself on my steadier ground by working on this. Importantly, I find myself more able to access joy authentically.
Especially at this time of year, take care of you. *BIG HUGS*