Feeling the Holiday Blues?
Holidays can be difficult for a host of various reasons. It's a time when families come together, some by obligation. It's a time when unaddressed issues can get triggered and flair up causing increased stress and a lot less joy. It's a time when families may want to be together and due to circumstances, they can't be.
First: take some time to decide what kind of holiday you really want to have and what that would look like and how that might feel for you. We are all responsible for our own happiness and really can't "make" someone else happy.
Second: you can decide which topics you are willing to talk about and those you are not. Family members often get into heated arguments with one side trying to convince the other they are right and the other is wrong, especially in this time of such political polarization. No one changes someone else's mind. Minds are only changed when there is an intent to do so, and intent cannot be forced on another.
Third: and this is not new. Figure out a budget and stick to it! Going into debt can sometimes only increase stress when the bill comes due. Long after the gift has worn out, people will remember the kindness and compassion of that excellent talk you had together. The laughter and closeness felt will remain and keep giving long after the ornaments have been packed away.
I wish for you a blessed and nurturing holiday season.
David Kleist MA, LMFT
Counseling Services Director
Jones Regional Medical Center