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  • Tips for managing holiday expectations

    A plate is prepared with holiday decorations by people using CBT to manage stress

    The holiday season can be a stressful time. People are often filled with high hopes and expectations, which when unmet can lead to stress and disappointment. The American Psychological Association (APA) published an article providing a few helpful tips on managing holiday expectations, which will be discussed below:

    How do you set reasonable expectations?

    Most people have a vision of their perfect holiday experience. The APA recommends setting much more realistic expectations for the holidays. Mistakes and setbacks can be viewed as opportunities to practice flexibility and resiliency. Burnt pies can become a cherished family memory and story instead of a catastrophe that spoiled everything.

    How do you remember the big picture?

    The APA recommends keeping problems in perspective. The holiday season is a relatively short period of time compared to the entire year. If things are not going well, it is helpful to recognize the time will pass and there will be another holiday season.

    How do you remember what’s most important?

    It’s helpful to remember to not let commercialism blind us to what is most important, according to the APA. It can be necessary to scale back holiday expenses if times are tough. Remember that the holidays are most rewarding when spent with family, friends, and loved ones.

    If you are finding it difficult to cope with the holiday season or other stressors, contact us for a free phone consultation.

    Dr. Jason von Stietz specializes in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Sport/Performance Psychology in Torrance, CA. He provides online therapy (telehealth) by way of the Torrance office and is available for a free initial phone consultation. Dr. von Stietz works with individuals from Long Beach, the greater Los Angeles area, and the South Bay including Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, El Segundo and all over California.