Finding Peace During Holiday and End-of-Year Stress

Finding Peace During Holiday and End-of-Year Stress

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holiday season! We’re seeing people fill their lawns with holiday decorations – some with fall and Thanksgiving themes and others jumping all the way ahead to Christmas.

While many people dream of the mistletoe hanging over their heads this time of year, many of us have another ornament hanging over our heads during the holidays: stress! You may feel lonely knowing you won’t have the opportunity to see loved ones or you may feel a sense of dread about another year passing without fulfilling certain goals or expectations.

We want to walk with you through some of the biggest stressors people feel burdened by this time of year. Holiday cheer is in the air but not everyone has the privilege to join in on the cheer because circumstances aren’t universal.

Fighting Loneliness

Picture what the holidays look like. For just about everybody, that thought will conjure up images of sitting around the table with family and friends passing around dishes and gifts. After all, that’s what Hollywood, books, and society as a whole expect of us this time of year.

That’s not everyone’s reality, however. Some people won’t be able to spend the holidays with family and friends. This can be because they can’t get off work, they can’t afford to travel, or they simply don’t have family and friends to spend time with. It’s natural to feel loneliness if you are looking at those around you and seeing that they’ve all got plans to see their loved ones while you’re going to be spending most of your holiday season alone.

As they say, “comparison is the thief of joy.” The first step to overcoming these feelings is to avoid focusing on what others have in comparison to what you don’t have. It’s one of the biggest hurdles, but you can always focus on what you ARE able to do. Have you considered starting your own traditions? You have one advantage others don’t: nobody is around to judge you. You get to dive into what you love without worrying about judgmental family or friends getting in the way of your happiness. There are positives in your life and it’s okay to bask in those.

Another option is to take advantage of modern technology if you’re not able to physically be there with friends and family. You can get on the phone or do a video call with the people you love and stay in touch without being in the same room.

Avoid Trapping Yourself Under Expectations

It’s about to be 2023. WOW, time goes fast. Did you have lofty expectations for the year that were never met? This is going to be a common feeling among the crowd as people set big goals in 2022 to make up for time lost during the pandemic.

We all know resolutions sometimes are forgotten or we fail to reach them and that’s okay! It’s okay to fail because we can learn from the journey we went through to failure. And guess what? The calendar is going to keep turning and we can pick up where we left off when the clock strikes midnight on January 1, 2023. Your journey to meeting your goals isn’t over, the path to get there has just been extended.

As we noted above, comparing yourself to others can rob you of joy. Comparing yourself to the you you wish you were robs from the same well. You can use the burden you feel now to set realistic goals and expectations for 2023.

Talk to a Therapist

There are dozens of ways you can improve your holiday season if you feel backed up against the wall right now. One of the best ways to take care of yourself right now could be simply talking to someone. Your thoughts and feelings can manifest into physical ailments if you never address them. So, maybe now is the time to reach out for help.

At Integrated Therapies, we take a multi-faceted holistic approach to you. We want to walk alongside you in this journey to wellness. The holiday season doesn’t have to be lonely, overwhelming, or demoralizing. Give us a call and we’ll help you get your feet on the right path.