Note To Self: The Holidays Can Be Hard
‘Tis the season for
joy holiday cheer heavy hearts. Just a friendly reminder that the holidays are not always easy for people…
Why are the holidays such a heavy time for people?
As humans we associate significant memories related to the holidays. If we have good memories, but those people are no longer in our lives, then the holidays can be a reminder of that loss. The holidays are seen as a time to be with family and those we love, so then if you don’t feel like you have people who care about you and you are seeing others surrounded by people, then it can make your loneliness amplify. Additionally, there are huge financial pressures associated with the holidays, that added stress, paired with any feelings of loss or loneliness makes it extremely difficult.
Why does it feel sad, even for those who have good relationships in their life?
Depending on the person, especially if they are dealing with something like depression, no matter the amount of people in the room an individual can still feel lonely. As previously stated, we tie significant memories and expectations related to the season which may not always be met. Also, because we are surrounded by family, some who we maybe have not seen all year, a lot of life questions are asked that aren’t necessarily the most sensitive. Such as, “When are you getting married?” “No boyfriend yet?” “Are you going to have kids?”
What do you do if you’re having difficulty and sadness around the holidays? What helps?
It’s a great time if you are not seeing one, to visit a therapist. Therapists are used to an influx during this time for some additional support. It’s helpful to begin to create your own traditions. Make the holidays something you can enjoy. Whether that is celebrating the season by seeing a holiday performance, or bringing friends together, or deciding you want to put the tree up at the beginning of November.
There’s a new term “(un)holidays” floating around, maybe you don’t fit into traditional standards or expectations for the season. Maybe you don’t celebrate at all or you take a trip by yourself. The most important piece being that you create some meaning based on what you enjoy. Find what brings you a little internal peace, if not happiness.
Written By: Jessica Eiseman, MS, LPC-S, NCC, CCTP
Owner and Clinical Director of Ajana Therapy & Clinical Services