Manage your expectations of the holiday season


Well, it’s less than a month until Christmas and by this time of year we are often consumed by messaging of joy, peace and happiness.


Except, what you may actually be feeling is anxiety about having everything done in time for the “big day”, seeing difficult relatives, entertaining a crowd, and the numerous social engagements you are supposed to find endless energy for, while looking and feeling great.

At our therapy practice we see a significant increase in people reaching out for support around the holidays. So if you are struggling with finding the joy, know that you are not alone in these feelings.

Here are some helpful ways to combat anxiety this holiday season and help you manage your expectations of yourself and others:


  • Understand your own expectations of the season (what’s MOST important to you) and communicate this to relevant people in your life so there is no resentment, misunderstandings or hurt feelings later on.

  • Pace yourself. Do not try to get everything done at the last minute and have reasonable expectations of what you and your family can accomplish. If you don’t have all your shopping and baking done on a certain day, be compassionate with yourself. It probably won’t truly matter when you think back on the season.

  • Set a budget. You cannot buy anyone’s love and acceptance. Plus, studies show kids are more creative when they have fewer toys and are forced to explore and play on their own. We find that guilt causes people to overspend but remember that helping your kids become grateful and appreciative is the best gift you can give to them. AND its ok if they feel disappointed, that is something we all feel from time to time.

  • Arrange various check-ins with important people in your life so you can talk about how you are feeling, what is stressing you out, what is triggering you or what you may be anxious about. If you don’t have a neutral person in your life who you can do that with, a therapist can be a great option! Reach out to us to help make this your most restful holiday yet.


Stay more peaceful this holiday season - Do the Holidays YOUR way.

If you are feeling anxious and want someone to talk to, call us (506) 651-1239.


When you talk to one of our therapists you get the benefits of a professional with the comfort of a friend.

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© 2020 Laura Gatien, M.S.W.