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    Hi all,

    Those of us who’ve gone through childhood trauma or are experiencing difficult relationships with family members can probably relate to yomim tovim being triggering, sometimes destabilizing, and overall just something that’s supposed to be joyous but is in reality something we can’t wait to get past. And if we do not have much choices but to spend yom tov in company that is emotionally challenging (such as being single and at home with family), it feels impossible to make the day feel meaningful.

    I want to celebrate Purim. But how? Most of it feels like dodging, coping, recovering. How do I create a yom tov for myself if most of the things we do yom tov are dependent on our environment and the people we are spending it with?

    Any insight, awareness, or ideas, I’d be delighted. Thank you!


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    Dana Rosenberg


    It is certainly refreshing to hear your blunt honesty in calling a spade a spade!

    It’s true. Yom tov is inherently beautiful, but certainly comes with some real challenges-even for ‘normal’ people, and intensely multiplied for anyone in a more complex situation. Here are some pointers which you may find helpful:


    Prepare yourself for the expected difficulties, but also for your ability to handle whatever may come your way. Remind yourself that you’ve done this in the past-you’ve got this. It will be hard, but will pass! At the same time…

    2-Be gentle and compassionate with yourself

    You may have harder moments which feel too difficult for you, and you may mess up. Remind yourself that you’re human-it’s ok. You make mistakes, but you’re learning.

    I heard a great line once-that in life there are two options: you either win, or you LEARN!

    3-Plan time for yourself

    This cannot be stressed enough! Preplanning a time/or times that you will nurture yourself throughout the ordeal is critical. It will help you stay grounded. This may include scheduled walks, a special book you bought specifically for yom tov, a special treat you set aside, a visit to a friend, or all of the above! Knowing that you carved out these times for yourself can go a very long way to feeling sane.

    4-Finding meaning

    Try to learn a bit about the yom tov in advance to connect to it on a deeper level. Yom tov was not meant to only be enjoyed by regular people and regular circumstances-it’s for everyone. Throughout the yom tov try to focus on the goal of what you can gain spiritually. You have the ability to transform the pain into something very meaningful. Remember as well that each yom tov is bringing you one step closer to health and happiness.

    Wishing you much hatzlacha, and may you soon experience pure joy easily!

    Dana Rosenberg-Enneagram Life Coach, MsEd

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    Topic Author

    Wow, thank you so much Dana, Fay and Michali!

    I love all of the ideas mentioned. I’m especially excited about setting a goal (will be an emotional health one for me, I’m not feeling up to spiritual goals yet). I also like the idea of designating someone that will have my back and even someone in a similar situation so that I have a partner, sort of.

    Michali- I appreciate you saying ‘amen’ to iyH by you is not a mitzva, lol! And that being single makes me no less of an adult, regardless of the values and systems in the community.

    Thanks so much!

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