Feeling Down or Anxious during the Holidays?

Thu, 12/16/2021
Feeling Down or Anxious during the Holidays?

The holiday season is a great time to meet with friends and family, enjoy endless conversations, eat, and laugh. However, this joy is absent in many people. Some people feel down, stressed, or even sad during the holidays.

The holidays for many people represent an array of demands such as cooking specific and very traditional meals, baking, shopping, and getting gifts for several friends and relatives, cleaning the house if they are hosting, etc. 

These helpful tips might help prevent stress and depression:

1.     Acknowledge your feelings. If someone close to you has recently died or you can’t be with loved ones for other reasons, realize that it’s normal to feel sadness and grief. It’s Okay not to feel ok. 

2.     Be realistic. The Holidays don’t have to be perfect. They haven’t been perfect for anyone since 2019. The pandemic changed everything so you shouldn’t feel bad for thinking that your holiday gatherings are not like they used to be. Also, keep in mind that families change and grow, therefore traditions and rituals change or get modified. Be flexible and open to change. 

3.     Ask for Help. If you feel lonely or isolated, seek out community, religious, or other social events or communities. Remember that all CW students can reach out to our Counselor and book an appointment with her. Leith Colton will be happy to listen to you and help you in a kind and professional manner. Her information can be obtained via Moodle or the CW App.

4.     Everybody is different. Accept family members and friends as they are, even if they don’t live up to all your expectations. Try to respect their point of view, traditions, or the way they live. Try to respect and accept how they are, instead of putting an effort to make them think the way you do.

5.     Just wait 90 seconds. Be patient, take a deep breath and wait. According to Harvard Brain scientist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, it takes 90 seconds to identify an emotion and allow it to dissipate while you simply notice it. In other words, it’s perfectly normal to get a negative thought, however, it’s up to you to allow it to stay in your mind for more than 90 seconds. Therefore, when you spend time with your family and friends and you get a negative thought, process it, and in less than two minutes, change the subject and try not to think about it. It will help you tremendously.

The holidays should not be about tangible and expensive presents. The best gifts you can give to your family and friends are for free. Hug them, laugh with them, cook with them, and record great memories. That is the whole essence of the holidays. 


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The College of Westchester