The holiday season, for the most part, brings a sense of excitement and happiness to many individuals who look forward to being around family and friends, celebrating traditions, and having shorter work weeks. There are, however, other sentiments that individuals experience as well that are not as often discussed; Anxiety, anger, exhaustion, depressed are just a few.
Anxiety - Holidays often equate to participating in family gatherings, which depending on family dynamics, can cause an individual to worry about various things. Besides religious and/or political disagreements, worrying about mom's approval of a new partner, whether dad will continue to express his disappointment with your career choice, or stressing about caring for your parents, are just a few examples of common situations that can provoke anxiety as well as anger.
Depression - individuals who lack a support system, are not involved in a significant relationship or are going through a life-hardship that prevents them from celebrating the season as they would like can feel depressed and isolated. This time of year can especially highlight one's feeling of loneliness as commercial advertisements and/or questions like, "What are you doing for the holiday?" etc., can serve as a reminder of what they don't currently have.
Emotional exhaustion - sometimes the mere thought of all the planning, traveling and socializing a person will have to engage in, is enough to bring about a "cloud of gloom" or a sense of " being worked up." In other cases, memory of last year's disorder, dysfunction or drama can serve as a reminder of what an individual does not want to experience again. Plus, let's not forget the multitude of questions/interrogations an individual may have to respond to regarding the status of their next life transition from friends and family they haven't seen in a while (i.e. getting married, having children, etc.)
With all of that said, it is important to be aware of your feelings during this time of year and learn how to cope and control them so as to prevent it from getting the better of you. Talking with friends and family you can confide in can help you learn how to best address your concerns. In some cases, a therapeutic professional can also prove beneficial to help sort out the various thoughts/feelings that some individuals don't fully understand.
Do you notice a negative affect on your well-being during the holiday season? Please share your thoughts below as well as any questions you may have.