Those who fear the holidays!

The festive season is a time when we experience an array of feelings with great intensity

There are some people that want to showcase the magic of Christmas as a period of tinsel and love, however a large portion of people feel negative emotions such as melancholy, stress, fear, loneliness, pressure and feelings of inadequacy at this time. The truth is that Christmas is a scary experience for a large portion of people who appear to enjoy themselves! I don’t think that it is a coincidence that police precincts and hospitals systematically have a larger rate of suicide attempts.

The largest difficulty faced by those who are not in a position to enjoy festivities is the pressure to play a role that may not suit them. Being forced to have a manufactured positive mood results in an inability to be in coordination to the festive climate, giving the sense of another loss.


Why do some people find it difficult to deal with this festive atmosphere? My personal opinion is that Christmas does work “magic” when it comes to our emotional situation. its magical abilities however don’t just concern joy, love, sharing but also the widen the scope of all sorts of emotions. In a nutshell, the festive atmosphere of the holidays makes people experience their emotions – nomatter what these are – with more intensity. Hence, someone happy becomes happier, those who feel love experience greater intensity in their love, and the carefree have a better time than ever. Simultaneously however, the sad people feel greater sorrow, the lonely are lonelier than ever, the angry are enraged by the joy of happy people, those who have split up miss their former partner more than ever before and anyone who has experienced a recent loss is taunted by arduous memories.

In general lines, the period of festivities showcases what already exists in all its grandeur! Loving families gather together in joy and love. Problems of dysfunctional families are brought to the surface to show all the frustration, disagreements and problems.

Writing this I wonder if festivities are the problem or if we are the problem?

I wish you a joyous New Year!

Do you have a problem that concerns you. Our resident psychotherapist Zeta Stravopodi is willing to address any personal matters. E-mail her on

Zoe Stravopodi-Gianno works as a psychotherapist and offers advice to individuals, couples and families. She also coordinates groups interested in achieving self-awareness and personal growth. In 2012, she established “Parents School” to give parents advice as to how to navigate the choppy waters of parenthood regarding the healthy emotional growth of their children.