• Helena O'Donnell

Updated: May 20, 2018

At my place of work, probably not unlike at the practices of many therapists, beginning in September the phones begin ringing more frequently. My session slots become fuller and it will remain that way through to the end of April.

There are many reasons for this, perhaps the decrease in how much sunlight there is at the end of daylight savings or an increase in stress due to everyday life. Even with all the other issues going on, today’s society prepares us far in advance for the pressures of the holiday seasons.

In short: Holidays can be a stressful time. #Holidays, #Stress, #Counselling

And the holidays, as much as they are “supposed” to be about good times, family and friends and for building on our relationships with others are also sometimes the saddest, most depressing, and anxiety producing time of year for many people.

Why? Well, for starters, simply because of the expectations we have of what the holidays are “supposed” to be based on whats projected in the media, our desires, and cultural images of holidays.

In modern society holidays highlight ongoing issues. It’s that simple.

"Relationships, holidays and unrealistic expectations exhausted by relationship issues"

We pack everything we want to accomplish in to our time off whether it is a realistic ‘to do’ list or not. Important things are put on hold until time off in the hope of finding time or even just head space to deal with them.

We do day trips, visit family, try to broaden our minds, head to the great outdoors and try to keep the kids occupied. Basically, we compete to see who can be the busiest or do the most with our time off.

We are bombarded with messages and images on social media that suggests everyone is having a great time during the Easter/Summer/Christmas holidays and so should we. Is this "reality" ? Is it any wonder that come the end of our time off we are exhausted, disappointed and angry?

Our relationships take a battering as a result. Couples feel the tension, families fight and tempers flare.

Holidays are important. Especially since we only get a few each year. They can be fabulous times packed with great memories we will cherish forever.

Whether we get to enjoy some family fun over Easter, the school breaks or a summer vacation, holidays are one of the biggest motivators for the daily grind.

It is important to address issues and not let them build up inside. There will be underlying relationship issues for any couple and within families. The key is to avoid putting them on hold. Instead take time to reflect upon where you and your partner stand on those issues and talking about it honestly and calmly can represent a big step towards a solution.

When you are communicating on these key issues you can find a way forward.

The alternative option – to let the issues grow and fester, in our experience, is a far worse option.

If you feel like starting that conversation is too difficult on your own, we can help.

Our whole purpose is to help people in times of stress. Talk to Helena on 087 9652330 or make an inquiry online to find out how we can help.

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