Hi, it’s Jasmyne with Relate Family Therapy in Centennial, Colorado, and the holidays are here! It’s the time of year that we get together with family; we spend time together and just relax. We put together things that are rituals and traditions that are important to our family and our kids. For some people, this is really overwhelming. It can also be very triggering for people that have had bad holidays in the past, because it’s such a marker of time. When we say, “Oh, it’s Christmastime again,” some people might feel like that’s the time of year they miss certain people the most or that they’ve had a bad experience in the past. Being able to decide what’s important to you during the holiday season makes a big difference. Planning and saying, “Yes, I’m going to participate in these things,” or, “Maybe this isn’t as important to me,” can be helpful. Another thing that can happen is a sense of judgment. We all know there are people who feel like they’re judged during the holidays, like they don’t have as much as, maybe, somebody else in their family, or maybe they don’t have the perfect set of circumstances, or something has happened recently that doesn’t feel good to them, like a divorce or a loss of a job, or maybe their kids aren’t doing as well as they used to in school. Having those things happen can make you feel like you’re going to be judged when you go to the holiday party or you spend time with people who are going to ask you what you’re doing and what’s going on. That can create a sense of anxiety and feel like, “I don’t want to talk about it with them. I don’t really know what to say.” Being able to plan that and, kind of, accounting for what’s going to be important for you, and letting people know, or not even letting people know is going to be a good place to start. This is the time when you should work out what your next month-and-a-half is going to look like. That way you can make sure that you include everything that’s important and that feels good to you, and you can avoid the things that maybe aren’t as great, like shopping on the last minute or having to go to a certain event that you normally would avoid. Happy holidays!
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