Celebrating 10 Years

Top Tips For Surviving the Holiday Stress

Top Tips for Surviving Holiday Stress, Samantha Murphy MA, West Hartford Holistic Counseling Center

Surviving Holiday Stress

These next nine days are a time of holidays, celebration, reuniting with old friends and family, wrapping up presents and the year 2016. I don’t know about you, but for me 2016 was a tough year with lots of transition and change. Let’s celebrate that we made it through another trip around the sun and can take the growth and tools we gathered with us moving forward into 2017!

Before we get to the new year, there is a little bit more to grow through as we reach the Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Holiday celebrations this weekend. This can be an overwhelming time for a multitude of reasons. Maybe you are short on cash and feel guilty for not being able to afford the presents your loved ones desire. Perhaps you have a complicated relationship with your family members and holidays bring up the sting of the past and it is a difficult experience whether you visit with them or not. Maybe you are away from family or grieving the death of a family member that is dearly missed at the gathering. Or perhaps you struggle with an eating disorder, your weight or substance abuse and being surrounded by all the food, drink and treats is a daunting situation. The Holiday season tends to bring deeper issues bubbling to the surface, which is a beautiful gift for us to see where our next step lies for better self care and compassion. Be on the lookout for what comes up for you and listen to what you need. I have made two simple tips to follow during this time (and any other time, too!) that may help so check them out below

Know your limits

We all have limits. Honor them. There is no requirement that you need to stuff yourself with large amounts of food or alcohol, hurt your bank account buying more gifts than you can afford, or spend time with toxic, hurtful family members. You are allowed to make your own choices. You can bring your own food, ask for what you need, purchase gifts within your price range, and choose if and when to visit friends and family. Know what your limit is and honor it.

Take care of yourself

It is easy to get wrapped up in the hullabaloo of celebration, socializing, eating, drinking, being asked awkward questions about your love life, explaining your career choice or what you are studying in school, giving presents, time and energy to others. Depending on who you are with it can be enjoyable or it can feel overwhelming.

Don’t forget yourself in this busy time. What can you do for self care? Perhaps a walk or some fresh air outside, time alone or with supportive friends and family. Introverts like myself may need to step out for quiet time alone, while extroverts may bask in the social environment. Just like any other day, do what feels good for you. Know that you deserve love and care and can give that to yourself.

As the Holiday and New Year celebrations may bring more awareness of our struggles and future goals, know that counseling, therapy and help are just a phone call away. I am taking new clients in 2017 and looking for those who want to learn how to make this new year their best one yet. If you would like to reach me for a free 15 minute consultation contact me here or at 860-258-4171.  Thank you all for stopping by and Happy Holidays!




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