Why do the holidays give us so much stress and anxiety and even sadness?

Is is that we worry about planning and the details?  Is it that we associate the holidays with bad memories and become depressed by the overwhelming sadness of holidays past? Is it daylight savings time steals out sunlight? (seriously, there is a type of depression validated by science related to seasons and sunlight).

There are too many reasons to list but here is what I think.

Whatever it is we are in that “season” now.  Mental health is not always chemical.  It can also be situational and never in our control.  Control is often an illusion…I like “manageability” better.  Take some time this holiday season to see what you can really manage at this time.  Maybe, you are not up to traveling all over and sleeping for days or weeks outside of your home.  Maybe, you are not in the place to host anything.  Instead of that, take the pressure off and do only what you can manage.  Set boundaries with friends and family and most of all set boundaries with yourself.  Manage your mental health by listening to your feelings instead of dreading them; avoiding them until you’re are overwhelmed and pushing past your own limits.  I wonder if changing (there is that word again) how you approach the holiday can change your holiday in a positive way.  Your mood may still not be the best it has been or can be, but hopefully you will come out of the season in “the light”…or, at least, not in a darker place than before you entered the season.

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