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The Emotional Ups & Downs of the Holidays

As my husband says "Nothing like family to F*@! Up the Holidays!" So many of experience the emotional ups & downs of holidays. Our feelings can vacillate between happiness, excitement, stress, sadness, depression, overwhelm, & so on. Tensions can rise especially if their is discourse in our family. Additionally, the expectations we have & the pressure we can feel to please people by finding that perfect gift can be overwhelming! Another reason the holidays can be emotionally challenging is if we have lost a loved one that year or if we have lost a loved one near the holidays. That loss can trigger memories, good or bad, sadness, grief, frustration, & so on. Clearly the holidays can be an emotionally challenging time.

I think it is important to try to set realistic expectations about your plans for the holidays. Last night my husband & I were discussing our plans for a tree trimming party before Christmas. He asked if I wanted some Poinsettias for decoration around the house. To be honest, I didn't care whether we had them or not. I was thinking more about getting little holiday dishes for treats & nuts to put around the house. In the end, he didn't really want the Poinsettias but instead wanted to focus on the big Christmas Tree we are getting. 

Another thing to remember is that the change in season can impact us. The weather changes, the days are darker & the nights are longer, it is colder & you may feel stuck inside. Also with the change of season comes the wave of colds & flu. We can be stuck inside with sick kids or we are sick. We are not sticking to our normal routines such as exercise, eating well & even our sleep can be disturbed. It is important to remember that we need to take care of ourselves. Try to maintain a sense of a normal routine & remember to be kind to ourselves.

I've included some articles that talk about the holidays blues with some suggestions on how to manage it.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/holiday-depression_n_5a2ab899e4b073789f6941c0

https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/a-holiday-advisory-for-your-emotions


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