Coping With The Holiday Season

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Coping With The Holiday Season

 

The holiday season that comes upon us for good, reminds me of one of the crises I encountered during the Sukkot holiday. The holiday season is an ambivalent period for the consumer. On the one hand, I do not know anybody who does not look forward to it. A period of family reunions over holiday dinners, freedom for the body and mind and days of soul searching. On the other hand, the consumer's soul searching is fragile and accompanied by fear. Especially during holidays, there is more of a chance of experiencing a crisis, as I did.

 What is the reason for the increased hospitalization rate precisely during December? It seems that the holidays cause unusual pressures between the person and himself, between the person and his friends and between the person and his family. I can testify from personal experience that every person experiences stress and tension, and this is even more so for persons who in any event suffer from a low sensitivity threshold and who may find themselves having a panic attack or suffering from a thousand and one other symptoms. The environment should be especially sensitive to us during this period. Those close to us must understand that as this is not an easy period for them, it is an even less easy period for us.

 One of my methods of coping during this sort of sensitive period, is to mostly do what is comfortable for me and not necessarily what is comfortable for the environment. Rest should be increased or alternatively becoming involved with things and deeds that do us good. Each person knows himself best and knows what makes him feel good. Those persons for whom the loaded and saturated family reunion is suddenly difficult, can allow themselves to stay at home, as I sometimes do, and it is even allowed and desirable to sometimes not join all the family dinners in order to avoid confrontations. Of course the family must be supportive and understanding so as not to create extra stress and tension for the consumers.

 In preparation for Yom Kippur and the ten days of repentance, I tend to do my own personal soul searching, and simultaneously try to identify what makes me feel uncomfortable, what bothers me and, if needed, I do not repress my feelings but rather express them, because if we continue to accumulate anger and negative feelings inside of us, as well as positive feelings, it is most likely that eventually we will explode. The smart thing to do after all is to listen to ourselves, to not overload ourselves with tasks we cannot withstand, or find ourselves chasing our tails trying to do as much as we can. The holiday can be utilized for quality time with our close family or good friends and for taking time to relax from our tiresome and exhausting daily routine. It is important to take advantage of the holiday season so as to accumulate energy for the things yet to come.

 If we encounter a crisis or if the pressure and anxiety levels rise to a perturbing degree, we should consult the professionals who treat us, and examine whether there is a need to take additional precautionary steps such as increasing medicine dosages, undergoing relaxing treatment such as a good massage, walking on the beach or taking regular or natural medication to reduce all types of anxieties.

 At the end of the day, we must not forget that holidays are a time of happiness, joy and reuniting with family whom we may have not seen in a long time. We and our families must acceptingly understand irregular revelations or abnormal behavior of the consumers which is merely a means of protecting and taking care of ourselves during extreme emotional situations.

Written by Ronen David

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2008 Ronen David, ISRAEL