We held our second True Talks event on December 13, as we knew with the holidays approaching, a lot of us could be feeling stress or anxiety, and could benefit from some coping tools. As a group, we put together a Holiday Toolkit to help you feel your emotional best throughout the month of December and into the new year!

14 things to put in your holiday toolkit to keep you feeling strong, empowered and awesome:

1. When you’re struggling with negative self-talk, ask yourself if you’d speak to your best friend that way.
2. Any time you start to feel anxious, reconnect with the present moment by paying attention to all your senses.
3. Focus on feeling grateful for the food you eat, the people you’re with, and the beauty of the world around you.
4. Remember to give yourself credit for all that you’ve overcome.
6. Take yourself on a date! Seriously, try it. Or, try writing a nice card to yourself
7. Practice accepting compliments by saying “Thank you.” Think of giving a compliment like giving a gift. If you gave someone a present and they threw it away or de-valued it in some way, how would you feel? Just like gifts, compliments come from the heart and it can hurt if someone doesn’t accept it.
8.Be open to different “love languages” from other people, so that you can receive the most love possible
9. Practice proper breathing while things are good… that way it’ll be easier and more natural when you do feel upset or anxious.
10. Affirmations work (if you work at them)! Try saying, “I am fully open to give and receive love.” Set out an intention for the day, or pick a theme like love or forgiveness for your focus that day.
11. Do something nice for someone. Hold the door open, buy the stranger in line behind you their coffee, or give someone a compliment.
12. Start to look for the good in people and then tell them what you see! It will become a habit and you’ll naturally start to notice the beauty in others.
13. Do things that make you feel good such as yoga, getting a haircut or playing with animals.
14. And sometimes you just have to scream “FACK!” – Faith Acceptance Compassion Kindness.

We’d love to leave off with a heartfelt letter of gratitude from one of our participants at True Talks 2, which totally made our week!

“This was a great experience. I have been to many different support groups and this is the first one where I felt empowered to be ME! And even in a room full of strangers, I felt loved and accepted. I look forward to many more True Talks to come.”