This time of year can be especially difficult if you’re someone who’s experienced a loss or find yourself separated from your loved ones.

During the holiday season there is so much pressure to put on a happy face and act as though all is well. But doing so can set you back and keep you stuck.

Here are 5 tips on how you can ditch the happy face and feel what you are feeling – guilt free!

1. Be Honest with Yourself

If you’ve experienced a major loss or find yourself separated from family and friends the last thing you will feel is happy. So why force it?

If you’re sad, allow yourself to feel and admit you’re sad. If you’re hurting inside, allow yourself to hurt AND allow yourself to be honest with others about how much you hurt.

Being honest about how you feel will help you release your painful emotions. Stuffing your pain will only make you feel worse.

2. Enlist Help

Not everyone will welcome your honest feelings and they won’t be able to sit with you in your pain. But someone will.

Enlist the help of those that are willing to be with you during your tough times. If a friend won’t do the trick for you, call on a coach or therapist who is trained to listen and help you through your pain.

The point is you don’t have to go it alone. If you need help - ask. More than likely the person you asked will be thrilled you came to them for help.

3. Set Boundaries

Sometimes you need to say, “NO”! Don’t feel you have to say yes to parties and events if you don’t feel like it.

It might be hard saying no to your child’s Christmas program but saying no to the annual cookie exchange might be just what you need to do to get through the holiday in one piece.

Simplify your holiday routine. Attend fewer parties, decorate less, order your gifts online and avoid the busy malls. Put more space between you and the outside world and give yourself a chance to work through your feelings.

4. Give Yourself Permission to Feel Good

If you’ve experienced a loss this year it might be very difficult for you to laugh, feel happy and enjoy yourself. On the one hand you may not feel like it and on the other hand you may feel guilty for having fun.

Feeling good isn’t disrespectful and it’s not a crime. In fact, laughing with friends and enjoying yourself might be the best gift you can give yourself.

The trick is not to overdo it or force it. Enjoy yourself because you want to enjoy yourself. Don’t push yourself. A little nudge doesn’t hurt as long as you’re still honoring your real feelings.

5. Be Patient

If you’re hurting, be gentle and patient with yourself. You may not feel good overnight and that’s O.K. Allow yourself time to grieve, hurt and heal.

There is no time limit on how fast you should feel better so don’t give yourself one. Each person heals in their own time. You have your time so honor it.

Author's Bio: 

Cari Vollmer, founder of LifeOnTrack.com and creator of InspireYourSuccess.com, simplifies personal growth by showing you step-by-step how to create and live a life that works well and feels great! To sign up for her FREE how to articles and no-charge 5-Day Feel Great Now E-Course visit www.LifeOnTrack.com.