How to deal with emotional turmoil during the holiday season - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

How to deal with emotional turmoil during the holiday season


Eau Claire (WQOW) - The Christmas season brings a bit of glitter into the globe we live in, but sometimes the sparkle is hard to maintain, especially during family functions.

On Tuesday, News 18 spoke with April Becker, Marriage and Family Therapist of Hope Tree Family Therapy in Eau Claire. She said some families feel pressure around the holidays, like they need to have a good time, and get along because they are family. But, some families don't get along, and it can take a toll a person's emotional well-being.

Becker said when multiple people of different ages, personalities and beliefs get together it can be hard to manage all the relationships and scheduling abnormalities. There are also financial burdens associated with gift giving and disagreements over traditions or opinions. Symptoms telling of an emotionally unhealthy situation include an inability to to sleep or concentrate, eating too much or too little and not being able to turn off your thoughts. There can also be physical symptoms like headaches or stomach aches. Becker said one way to help prevent these things from happening is to plan ahead.

“Think ahead by reflecting back on past situations and what's happening now,” said Becker, “To try to predict 'Oh I could see I may get a little bit heated when talking about politics with aunt so and so; what can I do to try to limit the conflict.'”

Becker said the number of clients she sees in the months following Christmas doubles because many people need time to debrief and process the things that happened in the time shared with family. She wants to remind people to take care of their basic needs this Christmas season, learn their limits, and simplify their commitments.

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