Navigating Emotions Around the Holidays

This topic is relevant for all times of year- not just the holidays. But, emotions tend to be heightened around this time of year. Shortened days, impending to-do lists, presents to buy, parties to attend or host, abundant food and alcohol, and expectations all contribute.

In thinking about emotions, it is helpful to remember that they aren’t always accurate. I know, I’m a therapist and I’m supposed to validate emotions. And I do, a lot. Emotions are SO real, and I will 100% acknowledge and validate that. But, they also aren’t always accurate.

Have you ever felt angry at someone, then later recognized that it was actually about something else, and wasn’t that persons fault?

Or have you ever felt really sad, but couldn’t identify why?

The emotion is real, but it’s inaccurate. Our emotions come and go, and they can manipulate our minds if we aren’t careful. And if we are ruled by those emotions, they can lead to negative implications on our mental health, physical health, relationships, work, and more.

So… next time you notice yourself caught up in negative thinking or difficult emotions, try journaling. Journaling is SO effective in getting to the root of issues- you’ll often write things out before you’re consciously aware of them.

Play detective and try to figure out what is deeper than the negative emotion. What is the real problem? (This often isn’t the surface level concern that you’re immediately aware of).

Once you know what’s really going on, you can identify action steps. What is one small thing that you can do?

*If you’re struggling with persistent feelings of depression or anxiety, give me a call! I’d love to work with you, or give you a referral for someone who can.

Kristen Cairns