Is The Stress of the Holiday's Getting to You?

The holidays are upon us and this usually means there are alot of gatherings where we spend time with extended family and/or social groups. As a therapist, over the past 15 years,  I always receive a ton of calls right before and after the holidays from previous and current clients wanting to get in to talk through a lot of  the stress that holidays stir up. And honestly, most of it is from family issues activating all sorts of emotions. And even though this year might look different with covid altering how we do the holidays, I am also seeing a plethora of disagreement, fighting, and differing viewpoints on a variety of issues coming up all over the place. This can make it hard to feel the “Christmas spirit”. So what can we do differently?


Things to ponder...

Evaluate your expectations. 

Write them down. Look at them and be honest with yourself. Are they realistic? Do they have anything to do with someone else doing xyz…? If so, it is not a healthy expectation. We have no control over another human being. You might want to rewrite some of your expectations into more realistic goals. 


    1. Choose your focus. 

What are you focusing on? Being right? Valuing relationships? Kindness? Getting your point across? Do you know the “other” person’s full story? Have you walked in their shoes? Have you really listened? What does valuing respect and kindness mean? What are you going to choose to focus on this end of the year?


     2. Choose your boundaries. 

Boundaries are a key of life. If you feel like certain topics are not good for your family, send an email out and ask if you can have an agreement to keep that topic off limits. Or maybe you need to set a boundary that only 1-2 drinks allowed because too much alcohol always turns out bad for your family gatherings. I don’t know your story, but I do know that it is ok to set boundaries and ask for what you need in order to stay healthy. 


And as always, if this is bringing up more than you care to deal with on your own, reach out to one of our therapists. We are here to help. You are not alone.