Surviving the Holidays

If celebrated, you’ve just made it through the first of many upcoming holidays. For some, November and December include several festivities that may evoke some strong emotions. One individual could view these times as joyous and exciting, another may perceive them as stressful and chaotic, while sad and depressing could be more appropriate adjectives for the next person. If this time of year has the tendency to conjure up more of those negative emotions, maybe there is something we can do.


For many people, the holidays come with this added pressure of trying to make everything “perfect.” Having the perfect dinner, the perfect decorations, and the perfect gifts can begin to take priority for some. When reflecting on the time spent in making it presumably perfect, we may realize we missed the point. What really matters to you? Do you care about the time spent with family? Is there a religion associated to your celebration that you want to focus on? Ask yourself the important questions. What do you truly want from these holidays? Rather than focusing on all the other “stuff,” make sure you’re not missing out what you actually care about.


There are some families that don’t celebrate the holidays for several reasons. One of those reasons may be related to familial discord. If there is conflict in a household, a choice may be made to forgo the celebration of a holiday. These next few months may be sad and lonely for individuals who are not amongst the festivities. These emotions may also be present for people who are celebrating their traditions but have lost a loved on. It can be extremely challenging to continue with family holidays when we have lost someone we care about. The feelings associated to grief and loss often become even more intense and powerful around times of celebration (i.e., birthdays, holidays). It may be helpful to prepare for these times as much as possible. Depending on the individual and their situation, preparation may include making plans with friends to ease the loneliness, going to an event or festival, or talking to a psychotherapist about the grief/loss.

As we embark on this festive journey, I would encourage you to take some time and ask yourself what you may need to get through it all. If you think it may help to meet with a therapist and discuss your unique situation, I would be happy to set up an appointment with you. We can discuss the emotions that may come from these times, as well as coping skills to develop in order to ease the process. Visit to book an appointment


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