This time of year is often considered joyous and even the “most wonderful”. You may feel added pressure to be happy and merry. The reality is, even the most spirited among us can experience feelings of sadness, anxiety, loneliness, disappointment, and regret. In a 2015 Healthline survey, over 60 percent of respondents described their stress level as “very” or “somewhat” elevated during the holiday season.
These feelings can intensify by engaging in unhelpful behaviors such as excessive eating, alcohol consumption or spending. Many people place expectations on themselves to achieve the “perfect” home or family life, and then feel inadequate, comparing themselves to unrealistic images on TV or social media.