The holidays will look different this year: Here are 4 ways to cope

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RaQuel Hopkins, certified life coach, shares 4 strategies to manage feelings of sadness during the holidays

For many, this year’s holiday season will look a lot different from years past. A recent study by AARP finds that two-thirds of Americans report feeling increased anxiety since the pandemic began. The sadness of not being able to see (vulnerable) loved ones; the challenge of buying gifts in the face of job loss; and the disappointment of going without the annual traditions all make for a less-than-ideal holiday season. While people across the world try to reconcile their expectations with reality, there are ways to lessen the collective feelings of disappointment.

RaQuel Hopkins is a certified life coach, Forbes contributor, and mental health advocate who offers her top tips for managing feelings of failure and disappointment during an especially difficult season.

1. Manage your expectations. Make sure that what you’re hoping for aligns with your current realities. This requires us to be truthful about our current situation and the current climate that we live in. It also affords us the opportunity to live in the now and take things one step at a time. Disappointment is a pathway to greater awareness and wisdom. Ask yourself if your expectations are reasonable.

2. Reframe your inner speech. Are the things you’re telling yourself helpful or hurtful? Most people think that life is presenting problem after problem, but retrain your brain to see these “problems” as opportunities. If you can do that, you’ll see promise in the holidays instead of lack.

3. Create a plan. Think about what you want both now and in the future. Accomplishing something today sends a reminder that you are not at the mercy of your circumstances. Panning for the next day gives you hope.

4. Remember that you can do this. Consider other situations in your life when you felt hopeless and/ or disappointed. Remind yourself of how you were able to overcome it. What steps did you take? Who supported you? What worked before?

Hopkins encourages those struggling with feelings of failure and disappointment to recall previous times when opportunity emerged from perceived setbacks, and practice managing your expectations during the holidays.

If you are looking for more personal support, you can schedule a session with RaQuel by visiting

ABOUT RAQUEL HOPKINS: RaQuel Hopkins is a certified life coach and Forbes Council Member who works with leaders, executives, and other high-achieving individuals searching for aligned symmetry in the areas of career, business, health and family. With an MBA in International Business and various coaching certifications, RaQuel combines her personal, technical, and professional experiences to serve both businesses and individuals seeking to achieve greater life/work satisfaction. For more information about RaQuel or to book a private session, please visit

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