How to Approach the Holiday Season

Posted on December 4, 2013

 

The holidays can be a wonderful time to connect with family and friends and enjoy each other’s company and fellowship. It is a time to enjoy favorite holiday recipes, holiday decorating, and festivity. The holidays can also be a time of stress, confusion, and pain. Often times we may find ourselves in one of the following categories:

Whirlwind Holiday Season

For some of us, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season can often leave us feeling worn out and exhausted. We over schedule ourselves with holiday parties, activities, shopping, volunteering, etc., etc.  We may find our calendars over-booked with little time to enjoy all the holiday season has to offer us. If you tend to be in this category of overbooking yourself, be mindful of what the holiday season is about. Maybe this year you will say no to a few of the holiday events so that you can really enjoy this time of year.

Isolation throughout the Holiday Season

Maybe you are feeling lonely during this holiday season or have recently experienced a time of loss and grief. You may find yourself staying inside your home and not going anywhere. You may find yourself wanting to be sad and alone. The holidays may be a reminder of past happy times we no longer have or past painful times we do not want to experience. The holidays are not always a joyous time of year for some of you. If you find yourself in this place be mindful of the desire to stay inside your home and isolate. Make a goal to attend holiday events throughout the holiday season and to be with people who care about you. The holiday event could be going to a friend’s holiday party, driving around and looking at the Christmas lights, or volunteering with your church group. Often times you will find once you are out of the house and spending time with people who care about you, you are glad you went.

Estranged or Far From Family

Some of you may be experiencing tough times with your family and may not see your family this holiday season, or maybe your family lives far away and you will not be able to see them. Take this time as an opportunity to branch out and meet new people or attend holiday functions with your friends. Just because your family does not live close by, or you are in the midst of a tough time with your family; it does not mean you have to be alone during the holidays. You can choose to be with people who care about you right now and enjoy the holidays with them.

Full of Holiday Cheer

Still others of you are feeling very good about the holidays. You have done well packing your holiday season with functions and parties and shopping and volunteering; however, you have created a good balance and you are still able to enjoy the holidays and find meaning in the holiday time. Possibly this holiday season you will connect with someone who may be struggling during this time of year. Maybe invite that person for Christmas dinner if you know he or she is recently divorced, widowed, having difficulty with family, or has no place to go. Spread your holiday cheer to others. If you have a friend who is feeling over burdened by the holidays, reach out to your friend and help lessen the load.

Written by: Emily Paxton, MA, LMHC, RD

Emily is a Licensed Mental Health Therapist and Registered Dietitian at Groff and Associates Professional Counseling.  She has over ten years experience counseling patients, with eating disorders.  She has also worked with and has a passion for families dealing with parent/child relations or trauma.  If you are interested, in seeing a counselor, for help, in these areas, contact Emily

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NzE6Imh0dHA6Ly9ncm9mZmFuZGFzc29jaWF0ZXMuY29tL3dwLWNvbnRlbnQvd29vX3VwbG9hZHMvMy1ncm9mZl9oZWFkZXIucG5nIjt9PC9saT48L3VsPg==