11/26/2012 01:59 pm ET Updated Jan 26, 2013

Are You Kind to Yourself?

Holidays can bring up a lot of feelings. Some of them create warmth and an inner glow, but others can make us feel despairing and somewhat depressed.

If we've had a less-than-perfect childhood, getting the family together may be challenging. Perhaps we've lost someone close to us and we are grieving the loss. Maybe we wish we had achieved a goal and are skeptical that we ever will. Whatever it is, be gentle with yourself.

I've heard it said that when we are going through something challenging, it's best to put ourselves in intensive care, that is, our own good care. And here's how you do that.

Watch for the following and when you spot it, have compassion for yourself:

  • Don't be overly critical about something you've done. If you could have done better, you would have.
  • Don't dwell on feeling guilty about anything! Guilt is useless and makes us feel bad about ourselves. Instead, acknowledge something you have done right.
  • Don't overreact. Holidays tend to magnify whatever we are going through. If that's the case, say to yourself, "Is this really worth the attention I am giving to it?" Probably not.
  • Don't be alone. Reach out to supportive friends and acquaintances. They may be having similar feelings and you can help each other.

And do repeat this wonderful mantra: I am enough, I do enough, I have enough.

The truth is: You are special, just the way you are.

For more by Helene Lerner, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.