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THE HOLIDAY SEASON, A TIME TO REFLECT.

Updated: Jan 7, 2022


Date: 01/01/22

Author Name: Bhavya P

Qualifications: BSc- Psychology, MA- Applied Psychology (specialisation in clinical psychology).

Designation: Consultant Psychologist, ACRO Mental Health Services.

Word count: 561

Reading time: 3 minutes

Reviewed by: Aishwarya Krishna Priya



Have you ever wondered about the beginning of our holiday season and preparing for entering next year? It probably creates mixed feelings in us, welcoming the next year while looking forward to the year to be kind to us.




A range of emotions overwhelms us; our thoughts are directed to live fullest for the current year and choose to complete.

When spoken about "new year", a sense of "joy" comes along. However, an expectation for next year is held (1).


This feeling is internalised in us, thus creating a sense of guilt towards the current year and being carried on to the following year. Guess what, the pattern continues.


To elaborate on guilt a little more, be it about output, education, employment, needs or living life to the fullest for the current year. We sometimes like to have our year as fulfilling.



The idea is not to feel guilt over productivity but to pause and reflect "what has been evolved over the years".


As far as the year had been, overlooking the past and viewing the future with apprehension, thereby consuming information or stretching for a "competition" in everything that life offers, might be a topic for discussion.


This idea may not have to be generalised, but sometimes it could have been beneath us. So, it may not be just limited to what we are apprehensive about; it may be gifts, social gatherings or loudspeaker parties (2).


To sum up my point, it's "the transition to the new year."



The next point is ‘social gathering’, for an individual to be compared on the lines of their comfort they find with interaction or the ‘objectification’ of socialisation, which could be a point of debate (3).


Sometimes, I feel lame but the thought of ‘social comfort’ and ‘expectancy of surprise’ inherently spoken through the eve of the holiday season makes me keep a boundary. Sometimes, even seeing a familiar face among social gatherings, anticipating to be pricked by their nose, could be uncomfortable for us. Being under the blanket and pretending not to exist might have been a choice, rather than spending the day being anxious.


THE PERFECT HOLIDAY.


We often hear ‘Happy holidays’. Does the holiday truly offer our space to be comfortable?

We sometimes are made to feel the celebrations.


Why not wonder about the holiday season as more than just in terms of gifts, celebrations and parties. It is rooted in our perception; since our existence, we have observed and have witnessed our significant others going to parties and sending us gifts which, through vicarious learning, we continue to view in a certain way (4)


I am not saying celebration and loudspeaker parties are wrong; instead of overemphasising it, I say we can choose to hold space for ourselves.


The holiday spirit may not necessarily make you happy or excited. Do not be disheartened if you happen to be overwhelmed with thoughts, feelings, and emotions. You can consider acknowledging what you are thinking and feeling and tell yourself that you are strong enough to face anything.


If you are unable to express or cope with situations in your life, reach out to a loved and trusted person. When that doesn’t work out you can definitely consider booking an appointment with your nearest mental health service provider or therapist. A specialist will always be around to assist you with your problems.




Audio-Visual credits

  1. Photograph by Kelly Sikkema, Unsplash

  2. Photograph by, Finn, Unsplash

  3. Photograph by Prochurchmedia Unsplash

  4. Photograph by Osman Rana, Unsplash.



REFERENCES

  1. Beth W. Expert tips for managing holiday anxiety (Internet). The Atlanta journal Available from www.ajc.com/things-to-do/atlantawinterguide/experttipsformanaging-holiday-anxiety

  2. Stress, Anxiety and holidays, Brain and Behavior research, Available from www.bbrfoundation.org/blog

  3. Social anxiety Self help strategies, Available from www.anxietycanada.com

  4. Weerd J. Psychology of Christmas [Internet]. Crobox. 2021 [cited 22 December 2021]. Available from: https://blog.crobox.com/article/the-psychology-of-christmas.



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