The Holiday Hustle: Stress vs. Peace!

Holiday hopes and holiday realities seemed to be utterly opposed to each other. Our general expectations for the holiday season are excitement, a time of peace and celebration, to enjoy food, friends and family and maybe take some much needed vacation. But this part of the year is a time of highs and lows; many are filled with mixed emotions and the season can be a source of stress, and even depression. “When we think about the holidays, we dwell on the past and what went wrong, or we romanticize it and make it impossible to re-create.”1The holiday realities are many and varied. The demands are great: there is too much to do, too little time and way too many expectations. The pressures of family can be overwhelming: an expectation to spend time with family members with whom we have had strained or even abusive relationships or having to choose which family members to be with and who will be missed and left out. The holidays can be a heartbreaking remembrance of lost loved ones causing deep loneliness and a feeling of emptiness. For many, the indulgences available during the holidays to eat, drink, have fun or spend money, lead to temptations and impulsiveness that goes unrestrained leading to unhealthy consequences.

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