Stepmoms and Holiday Depression
How to Recognize It and What to Do About It
BY BRENDA SNYDER, LCSW
My sister and I have decided that we’re coming back in our next lives as husbands. Seriously, because—in a husband’s world— holidays just happen. My own husband loves Christmas. He looks forward to Christmas cookies, presents under the tree, receiving cards from friends and family members, reading the annual letter “we” send out, our annual pre-Christmas party, our Christmas Eve gathering, Christmas Day brunch for all 15 of us (including our kids, their spouses and our grandkids) and watching everyone open their gifts.
He loves every bit of it. His contribution?
My husband decks out the house in a light display on par with that of Clark Griswold (played by Chevy Chase) in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.” And he does a great job! His other responsibility, honed over 20 years of training, is to regularly tell me what a great job I’ve done. He’s also sure to mention how much he appreciates the hours I spend baking, organizing, decorating, shopping and wrapping.
Why Holidays Are Tough
The feats above hint at a few reasons many of us feel stressed and overwhelmed during the holiday season. For some women, however, the experience is even more serious—with rampant emotions spilling over into the realms of depression and anxiety. Why are the holidays so tough on some of us? There are several reasons:
* Ridiculously high standards
* Unrealistic expectations
* Unhealthy stressors
* Too little self-care
In my experience, these are four major contributors. Let’s unwrap each of them one at a time. …To read the rest of this article, log in and download the November 2018 issue. Don’t have an account? Click here to subscribe.