The holiday season can be filled with happy and joyous moments; moments that are filled with significant others, close friends and family. For some, however, holidays can evoke feelings of sadness, loneliness or frustration. Here are some difficulties that many face during the holiday season:
- Obligatory cheerfulness: Some people feel that they do not want to go to holiday parties or events, because they do not want to fake cheerfulness. They might even feel like they will bring others down by their own sadness.
Suggestion: Although you may not feel like getting together with anyone, it might be a good idea to accept an invitation or two from a few close people. Being around people who make you feel safe and secure could be a better comfort than spending the holidays alone.
- Being alone: Since the holidays typically call for several gatherings, those who have lost someone near and dear to them, or those individuals who feel isolated, may experience a more significant degree of loneliness than they feel in a typical day. It could be a difficult reminder of grief.
Suggestion: Grieving tends to cause us significant emotional and physical exhaustion. Try to decrease some of the obligatory customs of the holidays that cause a lot of effort, such as, not sending out holiday cards or not decorating the house. For those experiencing isolation, you are not alone. There are several support groups that take place throughout the city for people experiencing loneliness.
- Money: Participating in holiday events are not always cheap. It is typical to buy gifts for people you work with, family and friends. This could add up to a lot of money, and cause some individuals difficulty who are tight on cash.
Suggestion: Plan ahead! Many people do last minute holiday shopping without considering that it could be a huge expense when everything is added up. By planning ahead, possibly even months, you can disperse the amount spend over a greater period of time, likely causing you a decrease in stressful money difficulties.
Written by Alison O’Hara, Psy.D.