The holidays at the end of the year are a time for festivities, reunions and social gatherings.  However, it can also be a stressful time that can last from mid-December to the first week of January.  It’s a period of social obligations and gift purchases, which consume a fair amount of energy and money. We rarely have time to accomplish everything we’d wish.  The daily routines are always present.

A few guidelines:
  • Spend some quality time in a pleasant atmosphere. It doesn’t have to be a “big party” every time you get together. It’s precious and free. Get together with family and friends doing activities you enjoy.
  • The gifts you offer should not replace the time you couldn’t spend with your loved ones during the year. A gift exchange for a pardon is a pitfall.
  • Purchase gifts that suit your budget. It will be easier on you after the holidays.
  • Take some quality time for yourself. Even go as far as declining a few invitations. Take advantage of your vacation to relax.
  • Family reunions can open old wounds.  This period can remind us of a great loss, a difficult family situation or an ongoing battle with alcohol or drugs.  Avoid conflict-provoking situations. People who are alone feel even more isolated.  Understand your emotions and reactions related to a loss or a conflict. It’s a period of emotional assessment.
  • Real life still has its same demands as the rest of the year. We continue to have errands, pay the bills, look after the children, etc…
  • Traveling during this period could be rather risky ~ first, because of the road conditions during winter and second, because of the unusual congestion on the roads.  One should never hurry but rather try to leave earlier. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order.
  • Make New Year resolutions that are realistic and match your level of motivation so as to avoid a sense of failure if they’re not realized.

James Robinson
Clinic of Applied Psychology