Feeling pressure around the holidays?
Queue Christmas music:
“It's the most wonderful time of the year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you be of good cheer
It's the most wonderful time of the year!”
At least that’s what we’re told, right?
The reality, for a lot of us, is that the holidays stir up big emotions: stress, anxiety, sadness, reminders of the loved ones lost.
It can seem difficult when everyone else is seemingly in a cloud of joy and you’re just not. Or, it can be difficult when you’re experiencing financial difficulty, employment hardships, or relationship stress. Everyone is coming down with cases of the “I wants” and the pressure builds because it isn’t feasible for you to fulfill the “I wants.”
So, if the holidays leave you feeling less than joyful and more like a Grinch than a Who, here are some tips for relieving pressure around the holidays.
First, be realistic about your financial ability to provide gifts for all those on your list. Set a budget and stick to it. Don’t go into debt trying to fulfill everything on everyone’s wish list. They want your presence, not your presents.
Second, don’t isolate yourself, surround yourself with people who bring you joy and fill your tank. If you struggle to reach out to your friends and family, or you are alone without any friends or family, reach out to local volunteer opportunities: the soup kitchen and the animal shelter are great organizations to involve yourself with, and connect with people this time of year.
Thirdly, if you are dealing with the loss of a loved one this holiday season surround yourself with people you love and trust. Let them come around you and provide support, love, encouragement, and a shoulder to cry on. It’s okay to feel whatever you are feeling. Maybe it is an opportunity to start a new tradition or do something that commemorates the loved one you lost. Or, if you need more support, call WCCE at (307) 257-2610 to get into our Grief and Loss Support Group where you will be surrounded by other individuals who can truly relate to what you’re experiencing and support you during this holiday season.
Finally, use this season as a time of reflection and grace. Reminisce on your accomplishments and evaluate your failures; sometimes our greatest failures lead us to the most wonderful destinations. Be kind to yourself, be forgiving with yourself, and try one of these ideas to combat stress and pressure this holiday season.
Wyoming Center for Clinical Excellence in Gillette, Wyoming, is here to help you if you are struggling this holiday season. You can book individual, couple, or family counseling online, or contact us at (307) 257-2610 to get into our Grief and Loss Support Group starting in December 2019. Learn more here >>>
Andrea Robertson, MSW, PLCSW, has a background understanding the complex needs of veterans and their families, and sub-specialized in military social work. Andrea is well trained in group psychotherapy and has a passion for facilitating connections among people to achieve a greater sense of self, and a greater sense of belonging.