The Holidays: A Clash between Norman Rockwell and Everyday Life

The holidays are supposed to be about relaxing and celebrating with friends and family. Instead, the reality often includes scurrying from one event to the next, extra spending on food and gifts and additional professional and personal obligations. Trish Fehr, LCPC, recently discussed holiday stress—what it looks like and how to cope – on WTAX. Fehr is a counselor at Memorial Behavioral Health, affiliate of Memorial Health System.

“People encounter stressors this time of year that include time management challenges with balancing the extra celebrations with peers, schools, churches and family; financial decisions regarding gifts and budget demands; expectations not matching reality; and those suffering from grief, depression or anxiety over missing people who are gone,” Fehr said. “Also this time of year, we tend to have less sunlight and seasonal affective disorder can add to the blues.”

She shared these coping strategies, among other tips:

  • Avoid sugar highs and lows.
  • Feel emboldened to say, “No, thank you,” in order to protect a more reasonable schedule.
  • Unplug the technology. Be face-focused instead of screen-focused.
  • Incorporate exercise into your daily routine, if possible.
  • Stay well-rested.
  • Recognize and consider the positive things in your life.

“Volunteering to help others who are in need can help get your mind off your problems and onto the larger picture,” she added.

Listen to the entire three-minute interview on WTAX.

Trish Fehr Logsdon, LCPC

Trish Fehr is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor specializing in the treatment of adolescents and adults with behavioral health needs. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Eastern Illinois University.