The Stress of the Holidays and High Expecations

Problem: The stress of the holidays and high expectations for how it will go. The result often is feeling resentful, frustrated, let down, ignored, not appreciated or valued. Many people feel depressed as a consequence at this time with unmet expectation.

Solutions: We know that when your internal expectations and external reality are different it becomes an error message in the brain. When this happens your brain goes into a freeze, flight or fight mode and you lose some of your problem solving abilities. So what do you do?

  • Take time to really think about what you want to see happen with your
    key relationships. What is your plan so that you are
    proactive to go after your relationship goals?
  • Go through each key relationship and what you want to say or
    do that will be significant for you and them. For example with
    my brother, I want to let him know how I believe in him and his
    capabilities. For my sister I want to show how proud I am of her resiliency
    and compassion. With my father-in-law it’s to listen and demonstrate my empathy and
    be totally interested in what he has to say.
  • Next, what is your plan for time to yourself to recharge in this stressful time? Will you take a walk, enjoy the scenery, exercise or take time for relaxation or meditation?
  • Plan you holiday time and then follow your plan.


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