Brittani Antunes, MC, LPC
Do you have the Holiday Blues?
Updated: Nov 26, 2018
Bah Humbug. Not ‘feeling’ this holiday season? 4 Signs that your past is getting in the way:
Bears get to hibernate for the winter, but, unfortunately, our emotions don’t. The holidays can trigger all sorts of feelings that have remained [ja1] dormant prior to flipping your wall calendar to reveal November. There are many potential causes for catching the Holiday Blues, many of which revolve around the concept that your past experiences are running in the background of your mind without your awareness (kind of like your air-conditioner). Here are some signs that your past may be sneaking up on you over the holidays:
Feeling withdrawn during times that you wish you were more social. Perhaps you find yourself scrolling through Facebook seeing all of the fun things people are up to and feeling guilt for wasting the day binging on Netflix. Sure, you’re caught up on the latest Orange is the New Blackbut what about your own prison of thoughts? You may soon discover that The Great British Baking Show and leftover Halloween candy can only solve so much. This unusual behavior may merely be a temporary mood you’re in, a ‘funk’ if you will, or maybe it’s a sign that some old ‘stuff’ is being brought to the surface. Sometimes our body and mind will be sent back to past bad memories and experiences without us being consciously aware of it, resulting in us having out of character or unexplainable emotions.
You may feel that you’re relentlessly busy but then at the end of the day when someone asks, “so, what did you do today?” you draw a blank and feel that you have nothing to show for your hours of hustle and bustle. It turns out that keeping our minds multi-tasking is a way that we avoid the thoughts and memories that just may creep into consciousness if we are daring enough to take a break and relax. Despite the quick fix avoidance provides, this in-the-moment-protection from our past can eventually work against us. We end up ignoring the things that cause us pain, stuffing them further and further down without giving them the healing attention they require.
Being jealous of, or even irritated by how others are excited for the holidays. For many, those ads featuring Thanksgiving gatherings or a family full of smiles surrounding a Christmas tree are an exciting preview of the days to come. However, for others, those images can produce a response that’s quite the opposite- perhaps one involving resentment, anger, sadness, or even just a gut feeling of ‘dread’. This may be your body remembering some not so cheerful family memories.
Sometimes the very people who show up to family gatherings over the holidays are the same people who have hurt you in the past. This emotional conflict of resenting them for what they have done and yet somehow possibly still laughing at their jokes can be quite confusing to experience. We may even see them as two different versions of that person (a “Good” version and a “Bad” version) not feeling like they are the same. Although confusing to deal with, these feelings are quite normal for this situation.
The past can reveal itself in curious ways, calling out to be heard, to be validated, to be healed. If you suspect that your past may be influencing your moods this holiday season then trust your gut and let’s take care of it. Believe it or not, it is incredibly possible for your past to no longer make its way into your life today. You are not alone in this experience and I specialize in relieving the effects of old memories. Consider scheduling an appointment where we will work together to free you from past traumas and allow you to start creating the joyful memories you deserve