Can we celebrate the holidays with out the stress?
A client this week was telling me how she is stressed about the upcoming holidays and how she misses last year’s holiday season. She described how in the midst of the pandemic, her family stayed home and it was intimate and private. There was nowhere to go, and no need to travel, or stress about running around to visiting family or friends, no shopping lists, food lists, or guest lists..
Yes. In a way, there is something to that sentiment. So many times during the holidays, we get so busy, frantic, and overwhelmed, with obligations, expectations, and lists.. that we forget to just enJOY.
Every year, around this time, I write my annual Holiday Stress Blog. But no matter how good I can write about it, research it, or help therapy clients learn how to cope with stress, when it comes to the holidays, we do stress.
I always adored the fall colors, admired the stores with all of the decorations and twinkling lights, was fascinated by the lore of Santa and his elfs. But mostly, I loved how families and friends got together and celebrated their holidays traditions. I then started creating my own family holiday traditions, and with the growing lists of guests, presents, meals and food to prepare, and with the sweet myths, memories, and shared experiences, also came the un-invited guest… S T R E S S!!!2019 Holiday Stress Blog
In addition to the usual stresses, this 2021 Holiday Season brings it’s own set of stresses as well. With many of us vaccinated, and the pandemic seemly, more under control, we are starting to open up to travel and spending time indoors with family and friends.
But even as we start to feel safe and comfortable around our loved ones, new challenges emerge. Families may differ in how they related to the pandemic and how they choose to stay safe during the holidays. How do we navigate, communicate, and bridge these differences without one perspective being right and making the other wrong? Can we stay sensitive and caring in this traditional time of togetherness?
It is important in these times to be sensitive, compassionate, and tender with friends, family members, and even ourselves, about our differences. Being able to navigate and accommodate can help us avoid the sense of isolation, aloneness, and loneliness that we have all experienced during the past few years.
Part of our holiday stress is the feeling that we ‘need and must’ get everything done. Presents lists checked off, chores completed, house ready, travel plans complete…
We are invited to many Holiday get- togethers, office parties, family events, friends celebrations, and though it is delight-full to enjoy all these events, it is often mixed with stress of time, financial strains, or even loneliness.
For many of us, holidays are a time of painful memories: First holiday with out mom. First Xmas tree decorated alone. First holiday with only one parent. And at times we can feel lonely even when we are not alone, feeling that all around us there are cheers and celebration and yet, “Why can’t I feel the joy?“
Families can be a source of strength, connection, love, and caring. They can also be a reminder of violence, neglect, abuse, and disconnection. Around the Holidays, many people experience some kind of P. T. S. D (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome), with reminders and flash backs of times in their past where the Holidays were a time of dread, addiction, or dysfunction.
The prolonged COVID-19 pandemic only heightens the effects of the holiday blues in people who already feel lonely and isolated, stressed, and depressed… People look at past holidays with nostalgia, as many had thought the pandemic would be over by now… [People are comparing last year’s holiday season and] reporting hopelessness and helplessness when reflecting on how they held hope that by the holidays, life would have returned to normal…Psychology.org
A good article about Surviving the Holiday Blues on Psychology.org reminds us to check in with ourselves, know our triggers, set realistic expectations, and focus on what is positive in our lives.
Hold Me Tight® Couples Workshop
One way to start battling the holiday stress, especially this challenging year, is to give attention to your intimate relationship. When a couple is able to work through communications difficulties, they have a better chance at keeping stress levels lower.
We held our first in person Hold Me Tight® couples workshop, since the beginning or the pandemic this last weekend. I am so filled with gratitude to offer this amazing workshop again.
Thank you to all of you, who signed up yourselves with your partners, or referred clients, and friends, to our Hold Me Tight® Couples Workshop. Our next workshop will be here in beautiful Nevada City in Northern California on Saturday and Sunday, January 29-30, 2022.
I am excited to announce that Owen Marcus, MA, author, workshop facilitator, co-founder of EVRYMAN, and TEDxTalk presenter on Masculine Emotional Intelligence will once again be co-leading the workshop with me.
>>> Watch Owen’s TEDX talk: What 10,000 Years Of Progress Has Cost.
Owen brings with him decades of experience leading and facilitating men’s group all over the country, helping men access their masculine vulnerability. Owen has co-founded, and been intensely involved in EVRYMAN, reaching men all over the world, helping them to access and connect with their deep emotions and vulnerability.
Hold Me Tight® Couples Workshops are based on Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). Once again, I feel immense gratitude to Dr. Sue Johnson who embarked on this journey of figuring out couples relationships, and broke the code of what it is to love, what are the obstacles to secure attachments, and how to form long lasting bonding connections with our loved ones.
At our Hold Me Tight® Couples Workshop, participants will learn how to:
- Affirm strengths in the relationship by developing understanding, communication, and bonding.
- Address negative cycle patterns, learn why they show up, and how to get out of them.
- Learn how to repair and forgive injuries and become vulnerable with each other.
- Enhance emotional, physical, and sexual closeness and intimacy.
>>> Read more about the workshops in this blog post.
Here’s what people are saying about our weekend workshops.
Transformative!!! For the first time in a long time, I have hope!!!
The Hold Me Tight weekend has been utterly transformative and groundbreaking for our relationship to drop into the deeper intimacy we have been longing for. Dalia and Owen hold an incredibly safe space, inviting and welcoming vulnerability and providing simple, accessible tools that unlock the gates to a thriving relationship. What a gift to give yourself and each other – Thank you for this life changing experience.
In two days the Hold Me Tight partner workshop helped improve our relationship in ways that had not worked before. We came to this workshop with a broken connection and ZERO hope for our future. We’re leaving it feeling a sense of hope and a fresh start. We picked up new tools and knowledge that will give our relationship a fighting chance. Most importantly, I’m learning this knowing my partner loves me.
To be honest, I was very skeptical that my partner and I could attempt vulnerability without falling off an emotional cliff. Though there were many tears shed, Dalia and Owen helped us get back on track and safely work through the fears and gain a renewed understanding of each other and our dance. I’m amazed how hopeful I feel after years of hopelessness. I’m forever grateful.
Space is limited. We keep our workshops small to ensure privacy, safety, and personal attention. We Welcome All Couples!!
For more information, and to register please visit: http://daliaanderman.com/workshops/
Wishing you all a safe, sane, joy-full holiday season.
Please Please take good care,
With love and gratitude,