Tis the season to protect your peace.

People places and things can spark very vivid feelings during the holiday season.

Kamilah Thomas of KBT Counseling and Consulting says the first step to processing those emotions is to honor your feelings by setting boundaries.

“You do not have to accept an invitation to every conversation you’ve been invited to,” says Thomas.

She says certain conversations may seem harmless but can end up presenting as triggers for your loved ones.

“When you gon’ get married? When you gon’ have kids? What happened to the last boo or bae you brought over last year? Questions like these can bring up sadness is regards to relationships that we wish we had, or we no longer have,” says Thomas.

She adds that if you find yourself in this type of situation, try not to compare.

Instead, focus on the healthy relationships you do have, while working on yourself through therapy and coaching in anticipation of new connections.  

When it comes to navigating grief, one approach is honoring those you’ve lost by redefining their roles.

Thomas says, “Who has grandma passed that mac and cheese recipe down to? That can be the one time of year you all come together and have that dish in remembrance of someone who has passed.

It doesn’t mean that we forget them. Life still goes on, but we are able to create new memories.”