Keeping the Holidays Happy

Keeping the Holidays Happy Reported December 25, 2006 — (Ivanhoe Newswire) — It’s the holidays. You’re supposed to be happy. But you’re not. Why is that?

Probably because you just expect too much, according to Waguih William IsHak, M.D., medical director of the Adult Outpatient Psychiatry Service at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in California. He reports studies show depression is common around the holidays, often occurring in people who are not depressed during other times of the year, and for most people, it’s all about thinking the holiday season should be much more joyful than it really is.

For example, Dr. IsHak notes many people go off to see in-laws or other relatives with the optimistic idea that everyone will get along perfectly just because it’s the holidays. “In terms of relationships, nothing magical ‘just happens’ during the holidays,” he reports. “If you don’t get along with your in-laws during the year, you’re probably not going to get along with them during the holiday season either.”

Understanding that before you head out the door is the best way to enjoy yourself once you get there, he advises.

The same kind of thing governs your other holiday activities, from gift giving to parties to managing your free time. If your expectations are too high, you’ll ultimately be disappointed, and that can lead to seasonal sadness.

Dr. IsHak recommends people spend some time anticipating how they will handle all the difficult situations surrounding the holidays and then just relax and enjoy what comes their way.

“If you plan ahead and focus on what you really enjoy about the season, you can spend more time ‘living in the moment,’ which is the key to getting the most out of each holiday experience,” he reports.

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SOURCE: Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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