Holidays and Anxiety

The holiday season can be a great period of enjoyment, relaxation, and winding down over a long year. But it can also bring out trauma and anxiety.

Why is it that polar opposite emotions happen? I found this article which shared some great first hand insight into the challenges, such as:

  • Changes to the daily routine
  • Being around different groups of people that you might not see often
  • Pressures on expectations for the holidays ( like gift giving )
  • In many areas, the weather tends to be gloomy and dark, which invokes conditions like Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Memories of past holidays that were traumatic or loved ones no longer around.

Making the holidays less stressful and intimidating can help lower the anxiety, such as:

  • If you are hosting a holiday get together, have multiple spaces for guests that include quiet spaces.
  • Have no gift or gift spend limits to not have financial pressures on folks.
  • If you are serving food, ensure you have variety in food groups and dietary needs so folks aren’t pressured to eat food they may not be comfortable with.

What ideas do you have? Let me know on twitter.

Written on December 29, 2019