How To Cope With Negative Holiday Emotions
There are many “shoulds” about how families and holidays should be: Families should love each other. Families should get along. Holidays should be fun. Reality, however, is often much more complex, and hard. The facts are that many people do not have happy families, happy family memories or happy holidays.
Holidays and families can easily trigger us into states of anxiety, shame and misery. Perhaps your parent or child is mean to you, or you have an active alcoholic relative that makes everyone tense, or you have endured abuse or neglect and the holidays trigger you into a depressed mood, or you feel lonely even though people — even people you love — are all around you. These kinds of experiences are common and can make the holidays challenging.
We can avoid or medicate our painful feelings to get through. Or we can deal with holiday misery in healthier ways that serve our well-being and mental health.
More holiday stress tips: