• Joshuah Ellis, MS, LPC

Your Anxiety vs. 2020 Holiday Season

Updated: Mar 11

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…or is it? This is the time of year that many look forward to because it means time off from work and school, and getting to spend time with our loved ones. The air outside has turned cold. The lights are up. The house often smells like cookies or some other delicious treat. And, you can’t wait…for it to be all over.


Holidays can be a difficult time for someone suffering from mental distress. However, 2020 has been uniquely difficult for a myriad of reasons, and if you suffer from anxiety, it is likely that you are not looking forward to what lies ahead in the coming weeks. First off, I want you to know that I see you. I hear you. That is why I have put together a few things to think about as you sit ringside while your anxiety and the 2020 holiday season duke it out.


Anxiety is not something to feel guilty about.

It’s not your fault. 2020 has been a dumpster fire. We all know that. Now, you have to weigh social distancing and COVID precautions against getting to see your family for the first time in a while. Trying to balance your elderly grandparents getting sick and your longing to be with loved ones would be tough for anyone. Still, this is the nature of the situation this year. We are being forced to consider things we’ve never had to before. So, I will say it again. It. Is not. Your fault.

One thing to remember though is that this is the exception and not the rule. Circumstances like the ones in which we find


ourselves this year are extraordinary, to say the least. I know that you want to do what is best for everyone involved. I’m just not sure what that is and neither is anyone else. At the end of the day, just do the best you can with what you have.


You are allowed to set your own boundaries.

Maybe you are not up for the big gatherings this year. Maybe you don’t have enough money to buy everyone a gift. Maybe you don’t want to have to eat seven Christmas dinners just so someone won’t feel left out. That’s ok. You are allowed to set boundaries. You are allowed to say, “no.”

Does this mean that people could be disappointed? Sure. And, that’s ok too. I’m not suggesting you give little thought to the feelings of others, but pouring yourself out to the benefit of others and to the detriment of yourself is not your responsibility. You are not a bad person for setting boundaries. So, limit yourself if you have to. It will be ok.


You are not alone.

It is easy to feel like you are single-handedly ruining the fun when you are the only one in the crowd who isn’t having a good time. You probably feel like a buzzkill or a party pooper. You’re not alone in this. And, you are not the only one who is having a rough time this year. Anxiety is extremely common and the holidays can be very stressful. None of what you are experiencing says that you are wrong or bad in any way. You are allowed to feel how you feel, and I would bet that there are a few people close to you who probably feel the same way you do.


Sometimes, we need a little extra help. At Mind Works Counseling Services in Lubbock, TX, our team is trained and passionate about helping people navigate the difficulties in their lives. Maybe you just need a few sessions to help you through the holidays. If so, reach out to us and let us know if there is something we can do to help.


Click to learn more about our approach to Anxiety Counseling.


Schedule an appointment with one of our counselors.


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