The Pros & Cons of Stirring Up Holiday Emotions

After Thanksgiving kicked off the year for the rest of the Holidays, many are now having a huge range of expectations as the year comes to a close. There are many wonderful things that comes with the joy of the Christmas season and the opening of the New Year. However, there are also a few negatives that come with the Holiday stress. Unrealistic expectations can trigger the holiday blues for those who have toxic families and are suffering from depression. Here is an overview of what they Holidays can emotionally bring.

Pros:

Quality Time with Loved Ones

No matter where life takes us, it is always a blessing to reconnect with our family through loving embraces and sweet kisses when we go back home. Being able to share the holiday joy with family and close friends you have shared life with is precious because you are able to pick up where you left off. There isn’t a dull moment when it comes to interacting with the people you love and cherish.

The Act of Giving

There is a certain region in the brain that associates with pleasure, trust, and social

connection that creates that warm and “fuzzy” feeling. This is known as an altruistic behavior that releases endorphins known as the “helper’s high”. So when we give gifts, our time or give to charities/donations, that part of the brain is activated which makes us feel good inside. As we decide to spend our time by giving to others, it defines the Holidays as a time for giving and gratitude.

A Great Time of Hospitality and Occasional R&R

Many of us cannot wait to eat some of our mom’s cooking along with many family

traditions that come along with it. Cooking, staying over at a family’s house, and welcoming a new member to the family are the things that make the holidays brighter because of its intentional hospitality. Also, during the Holidays many students and the working class have time to rest, and relax as they fill themselves up with the love and joy that surrounds them before they get back to their routines in life.

Cons:

Not Going Home for the Holidays:

Many have to tolerate the pains of toxic families that create damage whenever an

interaction occurs. During the Holidays, many would prefer not to visit their families

back home because of the damage that it will create. Many factors can include addiction, abuse, divorce, estrangement, or loss that can amplify emotional burdens during this time of year. The Holidays give obligations for family members to be happy and come together despite the inevitable toxicity that is present.

Demands that Lead to Stress

The immediate demand “to be happy” throughout the Holidays can be an overstatement

for those who may be suffering from depression or those who have experienced loss such

as death, divorce, or economic struggles. The demands of being happy and the obligation

to give gifts can lead to stress that can distort feelings of the Holidays.

Whether it stems from planning a family gathering or the willingness to travel across the country, the Holidays are a stressful time for anyone who experiences it. In order to make the most out of the Holidays, it is crucial to know that there is only so much one can do to feel content when this time of year comes around. Others should remind themselves to spend the Holidays with people whom they care, enjoy, and love rather than feel obligated to spend time with people who don’t give that reciprocated devotion.

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/5_ways_giving_is_good_for_you

https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/12/13/why-does-depression-tend-to-increase-during-the-holidays/#6572029a4a6d

https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/emotional-survival-guide-for-holidays#4