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The holiday season means different things to people. It could be baking Christmas cookies with the kids. It could be about giving respect and gratitude to our ancestors. No matter what the case may be, we all know the holidays are meant to bring us together through unity, hope and love. However, the message becomes lost because of various factors ranging from financial distress to mental health. We call it the “holiday blues,” because society reminds us what we should have when in fact, we struggle during these times more than ever.
Some of us have a hard time grasping the concept of hope, love and unity because of our personal backgrounds and trauma. Others think they know the concept, only to fall short with financial issues, which can cause strain on their relationships and their mental health. Thirty-eight percent of people surveyed said their stress levels increased during the holiday season. Participants listed the top stressors: lack of time, lack of money, commercialism, the pressures of gift-giving, and family gatherings (Hendry, 2014). We understand it's not easy managing the season, whether it's alone or with others. However, you can overcome a few obstacles by facing your problems head-on. This will provide clarity and insight on how to better prepare yourself for the holidays.
We all want to be loved, but how we give and receive love is largely dictated by those who taught us what love is in the first place.
It’s innate to feel the warmth, passion and affection from others. It brings us comfort, satisfaction and pure joy. However, some of us were not fortunate to feel this sensation because of our personal backgrounds. Therefore, it can be challenging to be in the holiday spirit. In order to guide you through the season, try to recall moments in your life where you were happy and at peace. Nostalgia is powerful, because it fills life with meaning (Routledge et al., 2011). When you start to find meaning, you begin to appreciate and love yourself. This love can be expressed to others.
When we measure our worth, it affects how we live our life.
It’s common to find yourself questioning what you mean to others during this season. We become overwhelmed and doubt our purpose in this world. What do I bring to the table? Hope. Your existence means more to people than you think. You’re not shopping for a gift, but finding what embodies you for others to cherish. When you know who you are—and you're pleased with the person you've become—you'll experience a sense of peace through life's inevitable ups and downs.
Don’t choose quantity, when you deserve quality.
The holidays remind us of unity because of traditions and activities. The need to be around people, to feel a sense of belonging, is natural. However, we sometimes force ourselves into relationships that leave us empty and unfulfilled. During this season, it’s time to focus on quality, but it requires a bit of soul-searching and self-reflection. To know what quality you should choose requires discovering what you really value.
The holidays can be joyful and heartfelt, but our personal experiences and past issues can cause struggle and strife. You are not alone this season. Redefining Normal is here to help you ease through the holidays and start the new year stronger than ever. Gift yourself personal growth, healing, love and unity this season by reading or listening to our book. Get your copy here.
Routledge, C., Juhl, J., Abeyta, A., and Roylance, C. (2014). Using the past to promote a peaceful future: nostalgia proneness mitigates existential threat induced nationalistic and religious self-sacrifice. Soc. Psychol. 45, 339–346. doi: 10.1027/1864-9335/a000172
Hendry, E. R. (2014, December 22). This is what holiday stress really looks like. Diane Rehm. Retrieved November 30, 2021, from https://dianerehm.org/2014/12/22/this-is-what-holiday-stress-really-looks-like.