Happy Holidays, Or Are They? Ways To Find The Positives In The Midst Of Stress

Category: Play Therapy

As 2019 comes to a close, I hear many comments about how negative and overwhelming 2019 was for individuals and society as a whole. When you are surrounded by negativity, stress, anger, and other emotions, how do you find peace? What ways do you celebrate the positive moments in life? It is important to acknowledge the small successes or you might get swept up in the negative. This is even more crucial this time of year as stressors multiply with the pressure of the season.

During the holiday season, one might expect people to be joyful and show kindness to one another. However, the stress and pressure of the season seem to wear everyone’s patience thin and kindness goes the way of the Dodo bird. So how can you remain positive during the melee of the season?

 One has to dig deep inside and show others what you would like to see: kindness, patience, joy, love, and forgiveness. It may be as simple as holding a door open for another person, letting another have the last parking spot, or smiling when all you want to do is scream.

The negative behaviors and emotions that result from the stress of the season are not a personal attack on you and it is important to not carry it around with you. Take a deep breath and let the negativity go. Brush it off and be determined to be the difference you would like to see during the holidays.

Celebrating the positives, no matter how small, is a good way to lessen the burden of the negativity you hear and see. “I didn’t honk when that person took the last parking spot from me. That person obviously needed it more than I did.” Easy, right? Not really, but something to aspire to. 

When you have moments of triumph, celebrate them. Reward yourself with a latte or bubble bath. Play your music extra loud in the car and dance along to the beat. Find joy however you can; no one has the ability to steal it from you without your permission. A positive mindset is a choice. Choose to celebrate the positives this season and lead by example.

Happy holidays!

Michelle A. Culver, LMFT