DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Traditionally, joy and happiness​ go hand and hand like Green Eggs and Ham with the holidays.

However, balancing family gatherings, personal loss and anxiety surrounding COVID-19 can be overwhelming.

Especially when one includes what he or she sees on TV and online.

“So, I always try to work with people on accepting whatever you are feeling when you are feeling it and giving space for yourself to feel those things,” Dr. Ilana Brodzki said.

Brodzki is a clinical psychologist with Duke University.

“I always work on accepting whether you’re sad or happy or everywhere in between. Angry, frustrated. Just all the things. Allowing yourself to feel them and honor those emotions and try to notice when it’s becoming too much and too overwhelming. Then there’s the place to try and change it,” she said.

Brodzki said that oftentimes means sitting with your emotions.

“We do it without realizing it a lot of the time. I always say, in a safe space. Not doing it when you are around people you don’t trust,” Brodzki said. “So, if you have a partner or a family member or a friend that is supportive, being around them and talking to them through it. I think not being alone is important during times like this.”

Brodzki also said when you have the holiday blues, remember it’s also okay to say ‘no’.

“I’m always a fan of planning. Make a plan. Go back to your plan,” she said. “So, when you’re feeling in the moment like I don’t know what to do. I’m stuck. They are pulling me or guilting me. It looks like they are having so much fun. Write down what your plan is. Why you made that plan? It is really important to stay on your personal values.”

She said that means setting boundaries, too.