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This time of year can be a challenge for a lot of women. Even though the holiday season is supposed to be a time for family gatherings, gift shopping and attending an endless number of holiday parties, for a lot of women a lot of unpleasant reminders. What kind of a year has it been for you? For many, there have been romantic break-ups, loss of loved ones, or even a career set-back. Bouncing back from these types of situations is easier said than done, but it’s possible. Here are some tips to get through the holiday season on a happier note.

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SET REALISTIC GOALS

It’s very easy to slip and fall into feelings of depression this time of year. For women who are emotionally depressed, it is also an opportunity to sit down and reflect on what you can control, which is not finding yourself in the same position this time next year. “It is important to set goals, figure out what you want to accomplish in the coming year,Dr. Shareefah Al’Uqdah, Washington, DC Psychologist explains exclusively to Hello Beautiful. “Planning will help prepare you to be in a better position to defeat thoughts that can bring you down.

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GET OUT OF THE BOX

Scrolling through your Facebook timeline, looking at everyone have a blast at holiday parties or getting engaged, definitely won’t help you get out of the gloomy mood. “Log off of social media, get out there and do something different,” Dr. Al’Uqdah emphasizes.

“You need a change of scenery besides the four walls of your home and your Facebook page.”

In many cities, there are tons of activities to engage in, such as art exhibits, throwback movies playing at the theatre, book reading groups, and happy hour. What’s even better, is that there are people out there with the same interests as you, getting out there will put you in a better position to meet them.

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BE THE CELEBRATION

Start new holiday traditions and rituals that support you and your single status. Dr. Al’Uqdah advises hosting a holiday dinner with friends and making it an annual event. “You can buy yourself a great gift or start a holiday travel tradition with friends…activities that are fun, engaging and will help shake off those feelings of loneliness.”

Four young women drinking champagne in club, one woman opening gift

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SOCIALIZE IN CIRCLES THAT SUPPORT YOU

There is nothing more important than surrounding yourself with people that love and appreciate you. Especially if you’re getting through a tough time, you need people who will be uplifting and not try to tear down your confidence or take advantage of your vulnerability.

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DON’T FEEL EMBARRASSED ABOUT SEEKING HELP

When the heaviness is overbearing, Dr. Al’Uqdah stresses that it’s okay to seek therapy or reach out for professional help. “A lot of the times, it could be childhood wounds as the root of the problem, or it could be other events that require healing.” In the meantime, Dr. Al’Uqdah highly encourages women to look within and start with self-encouragement; engaging in positive self-talk is an underestimated tool that can go a long way.

“Statements such as ‘I am enough’ and ‘All that I desire is also seeking me’ will get you on the right path to healthy healing.”

Use this season as an opportunity to work on yourself.

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