To quote Chevy Chase’s line from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation “It’s the holidays, and we’re all miserable.”
There is truth to this in that there are expectations put on us by others and by ourselves at this time of year. Feelings are closer to the surface. The following suggestions may help:
1) Pay attention to your feelings. Holidays can make us feel joy and sorrow more intensely. Journaling or talking with someone you trust can be helpful.
2) Be clear with yourself and others about what are your limits and needs.
3) Keep things in perspective about what is realistic and what is not.
4) Pay attention to your senses with holiday traditions. What smells good, sounds good, tastes good, and looks good. Our senses can be a pleasurable addition to our day.
5) Take time to rest, exercise, and enjoy yummy food.
6) Remember you cannot be everything to everybody all the time.
7) Holidays can be very difficult for some people, especially if it is the first holiday after a significant loss.
8) Holidays can be a time to reflect on what traditions you want to keep and what traditions you want to initiate.
9) When people are with family around the holidays it can be a trigger for old behaviors and people can go back to old patterns. This is common and something you can prepare for.
10) There are many ways of giving gifts.
Happy Holidays from the Management Team at Care and Counseling!
Editor's note: Care and Counseling is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that is committed to providing a safe, secure and affordable way for individuals and families to seek psychological help in times of need.