Happy Holidays…How to Deal with Holiday Feelings

The holidays are supposed to be the time of year for family.  But whether you’re with family or without, feelings about the holidays always seem to run high! Mostly, I think, because the anticipation of what family time ‘should’ be can be a disappointment.
 And when the feeling of disappointment comes it’s not always easy to deal with it!

Disappointment could come if you don’t get the gift you hoped for or can’t afford to give gifts or you don’t get any gifts at all or one of your family members doesn’t do what they said they’d do or your car breaks down just as you’re leaving to visit family and on and on.

It’s potentially inevitable that disappointment will show up this holiday for you or one of your children.  When that happens it helps if you know what to do with that feeling, because otherwise your behavior might be something you’re less than proud of.

So instead of saying to yourself or your children, “don’t be disappointed” and or asking “why are you disappointed?” focus on what can you do when this feeling comes.  Because no matter how much we try to ‘will’ a feeling away, it won’t work as feelings are brain driven and come no matter what!

The keys to dealing with disappointment are anticipating it might show up, then thinking about what you can do if it comes.  Here are a few ideas to help from our Pocket Full of Feelings project.

  • Listen to some holiday music
  • Move…change positions, go outside, walk or run
  • Take a deep breath and say, “Oh well, that’s just what my cousin always says”…
  • Think about the gift you can give of just being ‘present’ in the lives of those you love

Happy Holidays to you all and thank you for listening, contributing and asking questions about your unique family.  Many blessings to you all, Dr. Ann