Holiday Stress

Holiday Stress – Nancy

Holidays!  So much to juggle, so many moods to surf, so much holiday stress!

Moodsurfing has looked at holiday stress from a number of angles over the years, and we have come up with a collection of reminders to help you keep on top of everything at this time of year when everything seems more volatile and emotional.

While depression is often a hot topic around the holidays, the busyness of the season can also trigger manic episodes if you let your to-do list take control.  Remember the importance of mindfulness and resolve not to get carried away with holiday activities and preparations.

Many people seem to think that someone, somewhere is doing the holidays “right” and feel guilty that they, themselves are somehow doing it “wrong”.  Keep in mind that there is no right way to celebrate, and that you cannot create the “right” emotional state on demand.  Almost everyone, at some point or the other, has a “down day” or “holiday blues” at this time of year.  I think we’re mourning our lost childhood and wishing for the days when we believed in Santa Claus.  That’s all perfectly normal, and something that everyone struggles with at some point.

Dr. Jane Mountain, in her article “Helpful Hints for Holiday Stress” points out that “holidays can magnify the stresses of everyday life even if you don’t have bipolar illness, with its challenge of dealing with mood swings, relationship problems, or impulse control issues, such as money management or substance abuse.”  She offers some practical steps to coping with holiday stress.

Things to remember:

  • You’re not alone! Almost everyone has difficulty with one aspect or another of the holiday season.
  • Be Mindful. As always, staying present with the current situation and how it makes you feel is the key to balance.
  • You’re doing the holidays right. You don’t have to feel guilty about something you’re doing wrong or failing to do right.

– Nancy