Do you hate the holidays?

Now that November is upon us, do you find yourself with more stress, depression or anxiety? Are you dreading the weeks from Thanksgiving to Christmas and Hanukkah? Do you feel overwhelmed? Most of us are experiencing some of the above, I suspect.

Yes, the holidays mean time with family, giving presents, celebrating with friends and great food. But they can also bring stress, anxiety, sadness, money issues, difficult memories and alcohol abuse. There are many nice experiences to be had, for sure, but also difficult times for many of us. As a result, many people come in for therapy during the holidays and every January therapists are busy with new phone calls.

I hear people complain of missing someone who is not present; the uncle who drinks too much at family dinners; stress about crowded and rushed shopping; dreaded car and plane travel to see relatives; January credit card balance problems; over-commercialization of the holidays; longing for people we love and miss; and reminiscing about past happier holidays. No wonder some of us do not look forward to December!

How can you and your family cope with all of this? Counseling is a great option! Alcohol (which is a mood depressant) is not. Sticking to a financial budget will help; shopping for presents for yourself rather than others will probably not. Eating a lot of unhealthy food will not help. Exercise – even just walking – would be great!

Trying to live up to your family’s expectations is often a recipe for uncomfortable visits, difficult mealtimes, excessive gift-giving, spending to relieve guilt, and drinking too much. Old disagreements and slights may rise to the surface every time you are together. Past drama and poor relationships can color our time together. People may drink too much and anger us with their words or actions.

Exploring these stressful topics would be helpful. Take the first step and contact Becker Counseling or call us today at 732.406.4422.