When the holidays come, how do you feel? Are you excited for the upcoming celebrations or does your heart start racing thinking about all the things that must be done? Are you looking forward to family get-togethers or is your heart aching over the loss of a loved one? Although our culture pushes the holidays as a joyous time, the reality can sometimes be different. Hectic schedules can make us feel harried. There is pressure to spend money we don’t have for gifts. A change in the family, from divorce or the death of a loved one, can rekindle grief during this time. There are a variety of reasons for feeling stressed during the holidays, and adolescents are no exception. Adults tend to think that holiday stress is for grown-ups, but teenagers suffer from the same feelings as adults do, and they are sensitive to how the adults in their life are managing their own stress. Teens can even feel angry that their family holiday does not match up with the idealized images they see in the media.
Holiday stress is actually quite normal for adults and children, and with a little understanding, can be managed in a positive way. Listed below are previous blogs we have posted that provide help in this area:
“Yes, Teens Get Stressed During the Holidays, Too” (December 9, 2009) provides the most common reasons adolescents face stress during the holiday season and tips for managing it.
“Developing Coping Skills in Teens” (April 9, 2010) provides specific tips and steps in teaching adolescents how to manage their stress.
“Enjoying the Holidays and Creating Traditions with your Teen” (December 16, 2009)provides suggestions for making the holidays a happy, memorable time for your children.
“Depression in Teens: Signs and How to Help” (January 9, 2010) discusses more than just the holiday blues, offering symptoms of full depression and ways to help an adolescent suffering from this problem.
We are wishing you a stress-free holiday!