Why You Shouldn’t Neglect Therapy During the Holidays

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why you shouldnt neglect therapy during the holidays

Filled with activities and personal commitments galore, the holidays are easily one of the busiest times of the year.  

For a person who has been undergoing regular therapy sessions, the constant activity surrounding the holiday season can translate into tremendous stress and anxiety that make adding yet another appointment to their calendar seem like a burden. 

Our advise to you; Don’t neglect therapy during holidays!

Therapy during Holidays

 

Here Are Some Common Holiday Stressors

We have also included the major reason why it is important to honor this very personal commitment to self in your own way in the midst of the hustle and bustle.

 

Family Can Be Stressful

There is truth to the common holiday movie trope featuring the relative who only comes around during the holidays and disappears from the family scene for the remainder of the year.  

Not everyone is blessed to have a positive relationship with their family, and for those who have less than stellar relations with relatives, the holidays can be an extremely stressful time

Being around toxic relatives can unleash unresolved tensions and even trigger negative memories of past transgressions.  Teens and younger adults feel immense pressure to put their best foot forward when at family gatherings, already acutely aware of the many invasive questions they are often forced to answer.

The holidays are inundated with warm images of festivity, joy, and togetherness. 

Still, many choose to forgo seeing relatives during the holiday season, citing a host of personal reasons for avoiding interaction. . Spending time during the holidays alone knowing that the friends a person normally relies on for support and companionship can create feelings of intense loneliness or sadness and emotional disconnectedness.

 

End of the Year Stresses

The end of each calendar year is riddled with both personal and professional demands.  The end of the year offers the opportunity to reflect upon the changes a person has made (or failed to make), as well as what a person has accomplished in the past 12 months. 

Many may look back and realize that they fell short of some or all the goals they had set for themselves in January, causing feelings of anxiety and depression to take root.

In the workplace, companies are wrapping up their fourth quarters, and more often than not they are also having their workers meet tight deadlines in preparation for the upcoming fiscal year.

 

More Commitments in Less Time

The holiday rush begins well before the holidays even begin.  In the weeks leading up to the holiday season, it is customary for a person’s different social groups to plan gatherings, such as cocktail hours, dinners, and parties, as a last-ditch effort to get together before vacation time starts. 

Many people have relatives who reside in different parts of the country or even different parts of the world and planning who to visit and when is its own recipe for stress

The seemingly innocuous goal of getting together with every social group and family member can create a situation where a person is scrambling to fit an increased number of commitments into an already packed schedule.

 

Why Continue Therapy During the Holidays?

Get a Head Start on New Year’s Resolutions

One of the key tenets of therapy is realistic and thoughtful goal setting.  Continuing therapy sessions during the holidays afford a person the chance to utilize their existing end-of-the-year frame of mind to get a running start on their New Year’s Resolutions. 

A licensed mental health professional can help a person navigate both the immediate stresses and anxieties of the holidays and the establishment of goals for the following year.

From a pure marketing perspective, the promise of New Year’s Resolutions is a big selling point each and every January.  Since the holidays are a time when many take a break from therapy, a person can even lock in valuable time to spend with their chosen provider before the January rush of bookings sets in.

Online Therapy Is Available and Convenient

Utilizing one of many online behavioral health platforms provides a world of flexibility and options for a person to incorporate the therapy they need on their own terms.  

Many online providers offer therapy with 24/7 availability through a mix of face-to-face video conferencing, phone calls, and text messaging, removing the need to be physically present at a therapist’s office in order to engage. 

The contact can be as high-touch or as low-touch as the client needs; clients who feel a greater need for support can opt for daily check-ins with their trusted counselor, while those who need some momentary direction can choose to remain in contact on a less frequent basis.

 

Managing Holiday Burnout

Holiday stressors can have a significant impact on our well-being during the holiday season. It’s important to recognize the effects that stress can have on us and take steps to manage and alleviate it. 

Here are some strategies to help cope with holiday stress and burnout:

Give yourself credit for feeling good: It’s essential to acknowledge and celebrate the moments when you’re feeling good during the holidays. Give yourself credit for the things you have accomplished and the positive experiences you’ve had. 

Recognize that it’s okay to feel lonely and experience a range of emotions during this difficult time.

Allow yourself to express emotions: It’s natural to feel overwhelmed or emotional during the holidays. Give yourself permission to cry or share your emotions with trusted friends or family members. Sharing your feelings can provide relief and support, and it’s okay to seek comfort from others during this time.

Set realistic expectations: Remember that no holiday is perfect, and it’s important to set realistic expectations for yourself and others. Recognize that family dynamics, traditions, and rituals can evolve and change over time. 

Embrace the idea that flexibility and adaptability can make the holiday experience more enjoyable.

Take time for fun activities: Explore upcoming activities that bring you joy and incorporate them into your holiday plans. Engaging in activities that you find fun and fulfilling can help reduce stress and bring a sense of positivity and excitement during the holiday season.

Seek support from friends and family: If feelings of loneliness or isolation persist, reach out to friends or family members for support. Don’t hesitate to seek companionship or connect with loved ones who can provide understanding and comfort during this time.

Focus on commonalities and shared experiences: Instead of dwelling on differences or potential conflicts, try to focus on shared values and experiences with family and friends. Look for common ground and embrace the spirit of togetherness and unity during the holiday season.

 

Take care of yourself

Taking care of yourself during periods of loneliness, particularly for individuals with mental illness, is crucial.

Loneliness can exacerbate feelings of depression and anxiety, making self-care practices even more essential. Prioritize getting enough sleep as it directly impacts your mental well-being.

When feeling lonely, the tendency is to isolate oneself, further intensifying negative emotions. 

Instead, make an effort to go out and engage with others, even if it’s a simple grocery shopping trip. Social connections, no matter how small, can provide a sense of belonging and alleviate feelings of isolation.

Additionally, focus on self-care activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Engage in hobbies or activities that you find fulfilling. Practicing mindfulness and engaging in activities that promote relaxation, such as meditation or taking a soothing bath, can also be beneficial.

Seeking support from online communities or participating in virtual events can help combat feelings of loneliness. Connecting with like-minded individuals who understand your experiences can provide a sense of connection and support.

Remember, taking care of yourself is a vital part of maintaining mental well-being, especially during times of loneliness

Prioritize self-care, reach out for support when needed, and engage in activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. You deserve to prioritize your well-being and finding ways to alleviate loneliness and improve your overall mental health.

 

Don’t Neglect Your Physical Health

During the holiday season, it’s easy for some people to put their physical health on the back burner while indulging in celebrations and festivities. Parties are often filled with delicious treats, and the motivation to exercise may dwindle as the weather changes. 

However, it’s important to remember that physical health is closely connected to mental health, and both should be prioritized during the holidays.

While enjoying parties and savoring good food is part of the holiday experience, moderation and a balanced diet are essential for maintaining a healthy mental state. It’s important to be mindful of portion sizes and make choices that support overall well-being. Incorporating nutritious foods alongside holiday treats can help maintain a balanced diet.

Even when the weather discourages outdoor activities, there are still options to prioritize physical and mental health issues together. If going for a walk around the neighborhood is not feasible, practicing yoga at home can be a beneficial alternative. Yoga not only provides physical benefits but also helps improve mental well-being

Its focus on mindful movement, breathing exercises, and relaxation can contribute to reducing stress and enhancing overall mental wellness.

Making time for physical activity, even in small increments, can be beneficial. Engaging in activities such as dancing, stretching, or participating in home workouts can help maintain physical health and release endorphins, which are natural mood-boosting chemicals in the body.

 

Remember, managing holiday burnout is about finding a balance, being able to set boundaries and realistic expectations, and prioritizing self-care. By implementing these strategies, you can navigate the holiday season with greater resilience and well-being.

 

Therapy FAQs

When the pain of what they are attempting to cope with becomes too much for them to handle on their own and they realize they need help, people typically decide to talk to a therapist. This previous blog post lists 10 reasons why you might want to consult a therapist if you need more inspiration.

Everyone encounters difficult circumstances in life, and even if you’ve handled past challenges well, there’s nothing wrong with asking for further help when you need it. In fact, counseling is for those who are self-aware enough to understand they need support, and it is admirable that they are at that point. Accepting where you are in life and pledging to alter it by getting counseling are two examples of taking responsibility.

Everyone encounters difficult circumstances in life, and even if you’ve handled past challenges well, there’s nothing wrong with asking for further help when you need it. In fact, counseling is for those who are self-aware enough to understand they need support, and it is admirable that they are at that point. Accepting where you are in life and pledging to alter it by getting counseling are two examples of taking responsibility.

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