As I sit here at my computer just wrung out from a day working with clients I am thankful it is almost Thanksgiving and I can have two days off to be with my family uninterrupted. I have counseled many clients this week who have become greatly conflicted about the holidays and why shouldn’t we be?
Just look at all the articles that beg people to find something wrong with themselves or their families. There are survey’s to help you decide how much stress you have or could have during the holiday’s, there are tips for overeating, there are reminders to make sure you take care of yourself during the holidays and there are fast facts to help you deal with your family-the list goes on.
So what have I told my clients? Some clients I have told “it’s just another day”, others I have suggested starting a new holiday tradition and most of my clients I put the option on the table of not going anywhere. I mean who says we have to have Thanksgiving or other holidays a certain way? People get caught up in what they SHOULD do and not what they WANT to do.
The above advice might sound simple but I am always amazed at how many people trudge through holidays without really enjoying any part of it. As for me I baked my first pie. If my family lives through it I may have started a new tradition.
Julie North is an in home family counselor in a rural county in South-Central Michigan. She has a private practice and is currently being trained in TF-CBT and complex trauma therapies.