This is how we make life work when we want to go from surviving during the holiday season to THRIVING! Natalie sits down with Dr. Desire Taylor to dissect all things during this time of year.
Dr. Taylor is a clinical psychologist with her private practice in the Dallas area. She grew up all over the world as her parents were both in the military. She eventually settled in Texas where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in African American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. From there, she earned her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology. Her training continued with an internship at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, Colorado. Then she completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System in San Antonio, Texas.
We discuss some GREAT topics along with strategies to combat the struggles!
Why are we so stressed this time of year?
- Holidays have become taxing. We are preparing, consuming, acquiring, and out of our rhythms.
- Great deal of expectation/comparison/pressure
- Many of the things take a lot of physical and mental energy which leads to being overwhelmed and overloaded
- This time of year seems to highlight relational conflict/challenges whether with family/friends or alone
Why do we seem more emotional during the holidays?
- This is a sacred season, we are meant to feel and be moved during this time, BUT we don’t consider that and treat ourselves as such
- Holidays highlight grief and loss in a real way
- Unrealistic expectations mean we are not prepared for the realities of our beautiful but dysfunctional families.
- We might shift into being more rigid and less flexible to try to meet those unrealistic expectations
- We go into feeling personal failure, criticism, judgement, all of which disconnect us from ourselves and loved ones
Why are holidays harder after trauma?
- The message is that this time of year is supposed to be joyful and cheer but those who are experiencing the impact of trauma feel anything but that.
- If we edge into faking it, it makes the situation even worse
- We have memories of past holidays where the trauma was NOT there so it can act as a reference point and highlight a clear before and after
- Nervous system is hyper vigilant following trauma, so adding more stress to a body that’s already pretty taxed is a tough combo
How do we deal?
- Treat this as a holy time, a sacred time
- Shift away from what the holidays should look like and and ask yourself ‘How do I want to FEEL after the holidays are over?’ to allow that to be your guide through the season
- Pause…physically, mentally, schedule wise. Really make sure quiet time is locked in and respected
- MAKE SPACE…what does that mean?? THIS is good!!!!!!
- Identify and take stock of your common triggers beforehand. Figure out how you want to navigate that and how you might retreat
- Challenge the expectations!!!
You can follow Dr. Taylor for more of her amazing wisdom via her Instagram at @doctor.desi and reach her via email at [email protected]