The Holiday Season Requires Self-Care

As we talked about in our last few posts, the holidays are a complicated time.  Strengths, like natural supports and spiritual/religious worldview and community, are evident.  Cultural stressors can be exacerbated. In addition, individuals who have experienced loss or those who do not have adequate natural supports can experience the holidays as a lonely time.  Many situations might contribute to this experience: the recent loss of a loved one, the end of a significant relationship, or the contraction of one’s circle of friends might precipitate feelings of distress during the holidays.  Individuals… Read More

The Holiday Season Can Increase Feelings of Isolation and Cultural Stress

“‘Tis the season,” as they say.  For some, it is the season of celebration and strengths, but for others, the holidays can represent heightened experiences of cultural stress. In 2015, a controversy about Starbucks’ holiday cups reflected the cultural tension evident in a season that can be perceived as Christian-centric.  Starbucks routinely changes its coffee cup design each November.  In 2015, the company decided to remove “traditional holiday symbols” in favor of what it called a “more inclusive” blank canvas of red. Protests began immediately, claiming overzealous political correctness along with a… Read More

The Holiday Season Reminds Us Of Our Strengths

The day before Thanksgiving, I was in an elevator with a man, who said, “I love Thanksgiving.  It’s the only holiday of the year that no one feels discriminated against or lonely.”  As we continued to talk, he told me that he was Jewish, and that he frequently felt lonely and stressed during the Christmas holidays.  That same day, The New York Times ran an article featuring the powerful perspectives of four Native American writers on the holiday.  As Sherman Alexie, one of the writers, said in that article, for many Native… Read More