Navigating Through the Holidays

The holidays are rough, but coming to a mutual understanding and having friends to talk with can help you through this tough period.

The end of the year is stressful for many, especially with the holidays where families come together and may argue and bring excess stress. However, the year 2020 may be different for many, and could bring even more stress.

Feeling alone and abandoned during christmas holiday
© Paolese

Some of the reasons the holidays are difficult is because some family members simply do not get along, so when they are invited to a family gathering, conflict arises. Furthermore, each person could have vastly different views on life, religion, politics, and what one should do with their life. This creates conflict that can result in arguments. Some people have very strong and even stubborn views and will intentionally get into arguments to prove that they are right and you are wrong. This is one of the biggest sources of conflict.

Some other reasons for holiday stress are overworking. Someone who does all the cooking and cleaning may feel overwhelmed as their family doesn’t help them. Another reason is the weather at the time of the year. The coldness and lack of sun and vitamin D can weaken people’s immune system and make them more susceptible to getting sick. This can cause stress on the already weakened body. Another reason for holiday stress is loneliness. Some people do not have family and spend their holidays alone, causing depression. There are many reasons for stress around the holidays.

But how can you deal with this stress appropriately? To deal with stress with family, make sure everyone knows what topics are off limits. For example, no politics, no talk about career choices, etc. In an ideal scenario, all members would accept others for who they are and have an open discussion and not get upset or offended. However, this simply is not what happens and some people will have a hard time holding in anger if you say something they disagree with.

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Woman in stress about Christmas holidays
© Kaspars Grinvalds

By agreeing to a plan that will mitigate as much conflict as possible, the results will often eventually lead to an understanding of the person as a whole instead of viewing them as a source of frustration, anger, and conflict. By accepting someone for who they are instead of what they believe in, then true progress can be made to have a healthier relationship.

But what if you are alone? To deal with being alone is to learn to be open with whomever you have in your life. If you have some friends that may not know you spend the holiday alone and want to be with someone, talk with them about it. There is no shame in sharing how you feel and the sadness you feel for being alone. Additionally, being alone may bring back memories of family you’ve lost, either by them passing away or rejecting your lifestyle choices. You are worthy of love and respect, so telling a friend can be beneficial for you. However, if you don’t have any friends, it’s time to start branching out and meeting people who can be there for you. There are plenty of people, either locally or on the Internet, that will be there for you when you need them.

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Realize that this time is hard for everyone, and having friends and others to talk with outside of your immediate family can help you relate and communicate about why you are feeling sad. This goes for if you are with family or alone for the holidays. Even if you don’t have anyone, know that your own inner strength will prevail. So stand up tall and strong because you can make it through anything that comes your way.

Let me know how this works for you. Have a great day!

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I’ve never been a fan of these holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas), but I realize now that if my family wasn’t here to celebrate it with, it would be quite lonely. I’m sure I would manage just fine, and I have friends I can talk with, but I know that we often take things for granted until we lose them and wish for them back. So instead, I’ve learned to respect the differences with my family, as well as the arguments and conflict. It’s just part of the holidays, and I guess it wouldn’t be the same without it.


Mental & Physical HealthAnxietyHolidayStress

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Autumn Asphodel
Autumn Asphodel helps others live a better life through natural means, hard work, and dedication.

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