The Psychology of the Holiday Season

This time of year is always an interesting one in our profession. The holiday period brings up so much for people in so many different ways that it’s worth a reminder from your friendly neighbourhood psychologists that you need to look after yourselves. Firstly, taking a break is not a luxury, it’s an absolute necessity if you are going to not only manage your mental health, but also set yourself up for optimal performance in the coming year. Subsequently, you need to be thinking about how you are going to use your time off to get that well earned rest. The fatigue we are all experiencing (yes that includes us) at the moment needs to be alleviated. It won’t just go away by ignoring it and hoping for the best. I couldn’t think of anything worse than starting the new year feeling as if you’ve missed an opportunity to de-stress. So in addition to the others you always think of this time of year, make sure you prioritise yourself, what ever that looks like. It’s always a great time to reflect and imagine how you want to start the new year.

The challenge

The other challenge of this time of year can come from the very people we are supposed to be thinking of. Getting together with family can stressful due to longstanding dynamics and the sense of obligation we all feel. Of course it’s great to be there for family, just make sure it’s not at your own expense. I always advocate for the need to assert yourself at this time. If people really care about you, then they will respect your needs. Knowing that you have a voice that is respected will make a real difference if you find family challenging. Just remember what really matters to you, set this as your compass and follow your own direction.

As for us, we will be doing our best to practice what we preach (we don’t really preach…. You know what we mean).

Have a great Christmas, Chanukah, New Year or what ever else celebrate at this time of year.

Dean and Irene

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