Potential Traps for Holidays (part 1)

    Holiday time can seem like a “catch 22”, if you’re not prepared.   My clients often tell me that they’re filled with anticipation for celebrations and the excitement of the season, and as soon as the first holiday moment begins, they find themselves filled with anxiety and stress.  How can a time that seems so joyous, also be brimming with dread?  I advise clients to spend some time preparing for the feelings that are apt to emerge and rehearse the coping mechanisms they can use to deal with these feelings.  When they do this, they find that their anxiety diminishes and their feelings of joy increase.

      Here’s a list of some of the difficult issues that you might face.  Do any of these apply to you?  Next, imagine how you might handle them and watch how much better prepared you'll be. (The next entry will address strategies for dealing with holiday traps.)

      1) Fear of being judged for your eating and/or your body.

2) The stress of buying and wrapping holiday gifts.

3) Anxiety about family dysfunction.

4) Potential feelings of loneliness.

5) Worry about overeating or eating emotionally.

6) Anxiety about what to wear and how you will look.

7) Concerns about fitting holiday events into your busy work schedule.

8) Boredom and discomfort at parties.