I have learned over the years of counseling that the holidays are packed full of emotions. For most it is a mix of pleasant and unpleasant emotional experiences adding to the frustration and complexity of the holiday season.
As a therapist these difficult experiences make perfect sense given the broken family dynamics and over-the-top holiday culture we live in. The irony to me is the amount of shame and guilt thrown on people for not feeling JOY, PEACE, HAPPINESS, AND BLESSINGS. Am I right? You never see holiday décor or signs that advertise the bold emotions above. The reality most live in is not promoted but is masked with pleasant emotions everywhere. This instinctively creates guilt and shame that we are not doing something right or that there is something wrong with me that I cannot get into the holiday spirit. The natural instinct is one of two options:
A person will isolate and withdraw to avoid the feelings of shame and guilt within public view. This leads to depression, better known as The Holiday Blues.
A person will begin to aim for holiday perfection entering into the over-the-top culture. This leads to stress, anxiety, overwhelm, and exhaustion.
What if I told you there is a healthy balance to the holidays regardless of your situation. Are you dealing with family dysfunction that is magnified during the holidays? Are you grieving the loss of a dear loved one? Are you lonely?
Learn to cope with all that the holidays bring to your surface. I am currently scheduling new clients during the holidays. Solution-focused therapy allows for quick results before the holidays.