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Using the Stressors of the Holidays to Your Advantage!

 

As one of our pastors said a couple of weeks ago, in his sermon, that whatever experience you're having, the holidays just intensify it.  If joy/happiness, more intense joy and happiness. If sadness or depression, more intense experiencing of those feelings.  You would likely agree.

 

Maybe you've lost a loved one this year, and as Thanksgiving was approaching (and now Christmas) you feel the loss more deeply than before.  I really feel for you.  Can you perhaps reach out for comfort and empathy from a good friend (or two) you haven't talked to in awhile.  That can seriously ease the pain, at least little by little.  Maybe it's time also to join a much-needed support group (church/religious based or otherwise). At this link, (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/groups/maryland ) you can search support groups throughout Maryland, for example.  Also, see this U.S. Government site: https://bit.ly/2brtYMa. Don't go through this alone! Our organization can refer you to counseling, if you prefer.

 

Maybe too, it's time to work on your assertiveness skills.  At this time of the year especially, it is important to guard your time, your schedule, and your energy levels.  Saying “NO” to family and friends to additional Christmastime events, concerts etc. (as great as they are) is probably necessary. I have already declined one Christmas concert from a sister-in-law, because I'd had 3 different gatherings the prior 3 days. I told her in advance I might not make her church's concert.  In “Using the Yes/No Method to Reduce Your Holiday Stress” by Dr. Lisa Kaplin[1], she goes into more depth of the whys and methods for doing this—handling the related feelings of guilt or resentment.  She points out importantly that if others aren't happy with your decision, it is their problem! There are even community college classes in assertiveness skills, if you need that kind of help.

 

So, our intense feelings during this sometimes tough time of year, can have silver linings, such as opportunities to learn, grow, and overcome.

 

 

 

[1]Kaplin, Lisa (2018). Using the Yes/No Method to Reduce Your Holiday Stress. Psych Central. Retrieved from https://psychcentral.com/blog/using-the-yesno-method-to-reduce-your-holiday-stress/.

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