Sarah is not going home for the holidays. She plans to read, spend time with her dog, and even do some yoga.
The 30-year-old, who is using her first name to protect her family’s privacy, lives in Seattle, 30 to 45 minutes from relatives. Although the trip was short, she enjoyed being with him during Thanksgiving.
Sarah, who was grilling and watching movies with her dog, said: “I am alone when I need to be alone.
It’s become clear to him over the past few years that he doesn’t share the same morals as many of his family members, describing some moments in past meetings as “emotional” and “sad.” Many of the problems arose due to politics during the COVID-19 pandemic and the elections. As much as they want to focus on the warm times, forcing yourself to go home for the holidays is no longer necessary.
She said: “I always felt like I was looking in a box instead of remembering what we thought were holidays when I was a child. “It’s a lot different when you’re older.”
Sarah hasn’t been with her mother on vacation in years. At first he felt sad because of this and was afraid that he would be lonely. But by not forcing himself into an emotionally draining state, he feels in control.
“The biggest lesson you’ve learned from this pandemic is that you don’t have to settle, and if people don’t give you the strength they deserve, even if it’s a family, you don’t have to participate,” says Sarah. .
Going home for the holidays is not an option for everyone, whether due to financial problems, poor health, or chronic depression.
“We, as a group, must realize that some people are not happy,” says Dr. Frank Ghinassi, Director of Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, who adds that holiday shopping doesn’t help people who already have a problem. “It shows the gap between what the world expects and what other people can offer.”
A global epidemic report by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) found 64% of people with mental illness say vacations make their mood worse. Last year, a study found that people’s stress levels were five times higher during the holidays, mainly due to the fear of contracting COVID-19, as well as searching for and giving gifts.
In a survey of more than 1,000 American adults, conducted by BetterHelp in partnership with Material, a research company, 72% said they expect something to ruin their lives this winter, especially financial problems, with almost half worried about their mental health. during the holidays. More than one in four respondents expect managing family activities to disrupt their lives this holiday season.
After leaving the childhood home, some people find additional areas, passions, and self-concepts that are more closely related to their beliefs, and returning home can cause depression by challenging the newly discovered values, Ghinassi says.
“When people grow up from a young age and create their adult life, they often leave behind their family and the things that keep them from doing well. They also make themselves feel empowered,” says Ghinassi.
Deciding to skip a family vacation may seem like a big deal, but it can actually be a preventative measure, says Sherri Riley, founder of Exponential Living, a leadership development company and professional and author. Living a Conscious Life: Stop Spending 100% of Your Time on 10% of What You Are, they tell us Chance.
“They are just saying yes to themselves. They refuse to walk. They are saying no to the chaos of going somewhere… They are not rejecting their family. They are rejecting the plan,” he says. “And what they’re saying is yes, I just need some time off.”
For Gotham Sharma who lives in New York City, giving up vacation time is not because of family problems, but because he wants to have time to relax and work. The 31-year-old co-founder says the “holiday calendar” doesn’t exist in the startup world. Sharma has found that he can get more done when he doesn’t have the meetings that peak during the holiday season. She knows that being at home with her family can be distracting.
He said: “I give up the illusion of wanting to organize these things.”
He fully expects criticism from his family, but he thinks his family will understand that his decision is due to his love of business. Mainly because they want to make visits to their relatives, who are spread throughout the country, at certain times of the year when they work according to their schedule.
“It doesn’t mean I never want to see you again,” he says. “They say I can’t see you here.”
Family time is very important in her family, but she says maintaining those relationships and showing respect takes different steps. That doesn’t mean showing up during the holidays, he says, especially if he gets distracted and has road rage.
And it’s not all or nothing for Sarah either. A member of Sarah’s family who is still in contact with her father, who she describes as her best friend and is not related to the other side of the family. He plans to see his Dad alone for Christmas, and says the door isn’t closed to the rest of his family, but right now, it’s not good for him to try.
The internal battle to make the journey home is not easy.
“Spending time with others, especially if one is not suspicious, can be a combination of love and avoidance,” says Ghinassi.
He asks people to question their motives: “Is the decision to go to the village and visit relatives based on the desire to be with them, or because of guilt for being a ‘person who does not go home’?” Are you willing to give up your peace of mind to avoid guilt? [be] called selfish?”
Although the word self-care may raise eyebrows, self-care means listening to your gut about what you need which often allows you to express it in a more authentic way when interacting with others.
Self-care doesn’t have to look like skipping holiday gatherings. It could be as simple as when Riley sat alone in her room the morning of the family gathering because she was tired of work and other life responsibilities. After taking a moment to compose herself and calm down, Riley was less angry and less angry when she joined the group. It’s not them or I, he explains, but mostly them and me.
To his surprise, no one noticed that he had joined the party later than usual, Riley says, noting that his people-pleasing nature led him to think he might upset people by not being aggressive and making fun of the birds when they arrived. Since then she has decided to be more punctual, and encourages her clients to do the same.