The holidays are fast upon us. This time of year brings time spent with family, a host of parties and shopping for gifts. For many, it is a joyous time to reconnect with loved ones. But for some, holidays can stir up unwanted feelings of angst, depression and anxiety, which can trigger feelings of low self-esteem and shame, especially when comparisons are drawn to others. A deluge of social media posts from friends and family can often exacerbate this.
Holiday-related anxiety can stem from family conflicts, divorce, complicated blended family dynamics and recent deaths of loved ones. Disappointments around major life events such as unexpected job loss, financial struggles and other sensitive topics can also lead to stress.
When we feel badly about ourselves, our social media habits can heighten these feelings. Spending hours on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter, where there are posts of people enjoying their holiday season, vacations, or celebrating momentous occasions, can elicit feelings of envy and shame. When this happens, it’s important to set realistic expectations.
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