Showing posts from December, 2010

How To Set Boundaries & Avoid The “Holiday Blues”

By: Dwight Bain

A recent USA Today poll asked this question,

“Which best fits your holiday emotional state?”

Relaxed -18%
Joyful -31%
Stressed -27%
Depressed -24%

Why do people feel so overloaded with additional problems during the holidays? I believe the majority of the pressure they feel is from trying to live up to unrealistic expectations of a ‘perfect’ Christmas.

Remember Clark W. Griswald from the movie ‘Christmas Vacation?’ He is the laughable, but best illustration of a guy who tries to do everything right, only to have literally everything go wrong. Dysfunctional relatives, one blown bulb derailing all of the decorations, the Christmas tree goes up in flames, the turkey is dry, the check for the swimming pool is set to bounce, add in a crazy cousin kidnapping the hateful boss, while the dog destroys the house chasing a rabid squirrel and a senile senior citizen sings the national anthem; basically the whole 9 yards of Christmas chaos.

The movie makes us laugh because th…

A Line That Marks A Limit

by Deedra Hunter, LMHC & Dwight Bain, LMHC

Many in the mental health profession do not look forward to the holidays. Why? Because this time of year can create so many additional problems and pressures for people who are already feeling overloaded. Healthcare professionals get frustrated watching good people slowly drown under the incredible pressure of trying to live up to so many holiday expectations.

Depressed people feel sadder, people with addictions are often filled with more cravings, anxious people are ready to jump out of their skin, and most give up on their mental or physical health because they are just too "busy" to take care of themselves. The solution is not to ignore Thanksgiving or Christmas but rather to realize it is imperative to set holiday boundaries.

People tend to recoil at the mention of the word boundary but the simple definition is "a line that marks a limit". The depression, cravings, and anxiety worsen because those afflicted are unab…