Blog post written by,
Allison Ford, M.S
Registered Counseling Intern
The expectation in our society is that the holidays are a magical time and everyone must feel gratitude and joy. So what happens when we aren’t feeling the magic? Guilt occurs when one feels responsible or regretful for a specific offense or event. Shame is the feeling of personal inadequacy or that one is unworthy. It is not uncommon for feelings of guilt and shame to occur unexpectedly around the holidays. Guilt and shame flourish in “should” environments; this is when our thinking becomes filled with “should” statements, which can make us feel that we are not enough. These feelings can become loud around the holidays for several reasons, some being: self-reflection towards the end of the year, being around family that you don’t see often, returning to a place with unpleasant memories, and internal pressure to be happy and thankful.
Some examples of holiday “should” statements are:
- “I should be feeling joy about the holidays.”
- “I should be excited to see my family”.
- “I should be able to afford more gifts for others.”
- “I should have more energy for holiday traditions.”
To battle these feelings of guilt, it’s important to build awareness around our thoughts. Catching thoughts as they happen provides the ability to reframe them or change them completely. Reframing a thought will not only provide relief around negative feelings but is also a form of being kind to yourself.
Examples of reframing “should” statements are:
- “I am not feeling joyful right now, but I know this feeling is temporary.”
- “I am making efforts to be with my family this year.”
- “I was able to provide the gifts I could this year.”
- “I am able to show up this year.”
Reframing thoughts can be tricky, as sometimes we have been thinking the “should” statement for so long it feels like the truth. If you are in need of help around guilt and shame, please contact us and receive a FREE consult and information about our services. You don’t need to struggle alone. We are here to support you!
Allison Ford, M.S
Registered Intern for Mental Health Counselor Licensure
I'm interested in working with individuals who struggle with depression and anxiety as well as with couples. For a FREE phone consultation and more information about nutritional counseling, please call me directly at 561.600.1424 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Services available in person and online.