How New Traditions Can Help with Holiday Depression

If the end-of-the-year holiday traditions are bringing up conflicted feelings for you, you’re not alone. For many people, feelings of nostalgia can bring up regret; trying to create (or re-create) community can feel isolating; and even joyful activities can remind us of old pains that we usually try to ignore.

Anyone who has tried to maintain a holiday tradition in the wake of a loss or major life change can tell you: Trying to keep things as they were is its own kind of torture.

This can be true even if there’s no “family drama” causing tension. For example, for first-generation Americans,there is pressure to connect with certain traditions that don’t feel meaningful for us. It can be hard to know where we fit in when neither the American traditions nor the traditions of our heritage feels meaningful.

One of my new favorite traditions is to forego the usual family Thanksgiving dinner and instead throw a Day-After Thanksgiving party. Everyone brings leftovers and the drink of their choice to “escape” after their family events. There are no expectations on the day after Thanksgiving, so we get to decide what we want to do.

I was interviewed by Lauren Smith at HealthiNation to contribute to her helpful article about how you can keep what you want from old traditions, let go of the parts that no longer serve you, and make new meaning of the holiday season. Click here to read it and let me know what you think!

Although it’s the busiest time of year for many people, the holidays can be a great time to get a jump start on finally unpacking those emotional and relational issues that are keeping you stuck. Click below to request a free consultation about how therapy can help you create a life that serves you. Prospect Therapy welcomes individuals and couples of all genders and orientations in Long Beach, Seal Beach, and surrounding areas.