Friends Bring Joy

The holiday season is a time of joy and celebration, but it can also bring about feelings of stress, loneliness, and anxiety. During these times, having a strong support system becomes crucial. While professional therapy is undoubtedly beneficial, there is another form of therapy that is often overlooked – the therapy of friendship. In the United States, over 41.7 million adults attended some sort of therapy for depression and anxiety just last year. With inflation and rising costs in healthcare, not everyone can afford high therapy costs, and some therapists won’t accept certain insurance, making patients pay cash or out of pocket only. This leaves many battling the winter blues or anxiety alone. In this blog post, we will explore why friends are the best therapy and the most affordable option, especially during the holiday season, and how their support can be both invaluable and free. Friends offer the following services:

Emotional Support

Friends are always there to lend a listening ear and provide emotional support. Whether you’re feeling overwhelmed by holiday preparations or dealing with personal challenges, friends offer a safe space to express your thoughts and feelings. They understand you on a deeper level and can provide comfort, empathy, and encouragement when you need it the most. Remember, good friends bring you up only.

Unconditional Acceptance

One of the greatest benefits of friendship is the unconditional acceptance it offers. Friends accept you for who you are, flaws and all. During the holiday season, when societal expectations and pressures can be high, having friends who embrace you without judgment can be incredibly liberating. They remind you that you are enough just as you are, helping to alleviate stress and boost your self-esteem. They also can help you by relating to your common holiday stressors or triggers.

Shared Experiences

Friends often share similar experiences and can relate to the challenges you may face during the holidays. Whether it’s navigating family dynamics, dealing with holiday blues, or managing expectations, friends can provide valuable insights and advice based on their own experiences. Sharing these experiences creates a sense of camaraderie and helps you feel less alone in your struggles.

Laughter and Joy

Laughter is indeed the best medicine, and friends are experts at bringing joy into our lives. Spending time with friends during the holiday season can lighten the mood, create memorable moments, and remind us of the importance of laughter and fun. Their presence can help us shift our focus from stress and worries to enjoying the present moment. So try to get out of your slump and meet up with your besties for hot chocolate and a giggle.

Supportive Activities

Friends often engage in activities that promote well-being and self-care. From going for walks or engaging in hobbies together to organizing virtual game nights or movie marathons, friends can help you engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. These shared activities not only provide a break from holiday stress but also strengthen the bond between friends. Recently, my girlfriend mailed me the new Britney Spears book, The Woman In Me,” out of the blue to read. I finished it in a week and then sent it back to her, and she sent me another book to read, so we started our own little book club. It gives us both something to look forward to in the mail and to discuss together and in the Book Worms Squad on Spinnr.

While professional therapy has its place, the therapy of friendship is a powerful and often underestimated resource. Friends provide emotional support, unconditional acceptance, shared experiences, laughter, and engaging activities – all of which can be incredibly therapeutic, especially during the holiday season. So, this holiday season, cherish and nurture your friendships, as they are the best therapy you can have, and the best part is, it’s free. Remember, you are not alone – your friends are there to support you every step of the way. At any age, friends are so important, and the ones who help us through our ups and downs are forever bonded with us and cherished.

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