Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Holiday Let-Down

The holidays are supposed to be a very joyous, happy time of year. Unfortunately, for some people they're the worst time.
Holidays tend to be a time with lots of stress. Family members who may not see each other the rest of the year get together for dinners or parties, and that can put a strain on a relationship that may already be strained. (After all, there may be a reason other than distance why those family members don't see each other the rest of the year.) Money can be a very stressful topic at this time of year, as people discuss gifts, dinners, and all the other things they have to spend on.
As a teenager, you may not have to worry as much about money, at least not your own. That doesn't mean that you aren't exposed to parental arguments about how much to spend on Grandma--or on you. Hearing conflict between other people sometimes is as stressful as being involved in the conflict.
The holidays tend to be one of the times when suicide hotlines get the most calls. Some people just can't cope well with the season. Personally, I start feeling depressed every year just before Halloween, when the Christmas decorations appear in stores. Growing up, nearly every holiday dinner I was part of ended in an argument between someone, and for a number of years as an adult the holiday gatherings I had to go to with my first husband were unpleasant and loud, to say the least. Others have had much worse holiday experiences than I've had, and I know several people who wish they could just skip from October to January.
At any time of year, it's important to be kind to yourself. If you're feeling especially stressed, depressed, or upset, talk to someone, whether that's a friend, a counselor, or someone at a hotline. If you're feeling low enough that you're considering hurting yourself, get help right away.
The holidays are a mercifully short time of year, and there are definitely good things about them. Unfortunately, not everyone can enjoy them. If you know someone who's struggling at this time of year, be gentle with them and try to avoid saying things like, "Why can't you just have fun?" or "Get over it" (both things I've heard frequently). If you're the one struggling, as I said, just be kind to yourself and remember that January will come.

No comments:

Post a Comment