Holidays are coming and that means so is depression and anxiety for a large number of people around you. Though the holidays can be a time of joy and excitement, many will never feel those positive emotions. Instead, the stresses that the holidays can bring will weigh upon them. So many things can lead to depression and anxiety around the holidays. It can start with Thanksgiving and all the stress around meal preparation, or even the stress of which side of the family will you be sharing your meal with, or perhaps it is trying to fit too many things into that special day, or even worse it may be that there is no one to share your meal with. Beyond Thanksgiving it becomes the stress of gift giving and preparing for Christmas. So a time that should be positive can often turn into stresses that feed your depression and anxiety.
Part of the journey is understanding where you have been and preparing for what you will do. You know what is about to happen and if you look back at your emotions during past holidays, then you know you have to plan to make some changes. Adjust your schedule, adjust your expectations, change the patterns that have brought you despair in the past. Make a change and try to avoid repeating behaviors that continue to cause you pain.
This year we will be taking some action. We are planning a very unconventional Thanksgiving weekend. There will be no turkey in the oven and a houseful of family. Instead, we are heading south in the RV to Nashville, TN. Our days will be relaxing, while our nights will be among the neon of Broadway and the music drifting out of the famous honky-tonks. We are stepping away this year to try something new. Not sure if it will work to de-stress the holidays, but it’s a start. As Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.”
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