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  • Writer's pictureMary Soliman, MA, RP

‘Tis the Season of Giving…But When is it Too Much? (Part 1)

Last week we discussed one of the most common instances of situational anxiety: Performance anxiety. While this might continue to be relevant to some due to the standard North American academic exam season, this week we will shift focus to the season of giving. In this multi-part series, we will begin to unpack the idea of when does giving become too much. This week, we will briefly explore the notion personal capacity in terms of mental and emotional wellness. A brief self-care overview will also be introduced to help tie this concept together.

During the holiday season, we may feel compelled to do more favours for others or spend extra time or money to express our care. Needless to say, these actions stem from noble intentions, however, we may start feeling overwhelmed or unfulfilled if we feel like we do not receive an equivalent level of care or acknowledgement. Many of us might find ourselves prioritizing the needs of others over our own needs, ultimately neglecting various aspects of our wellbeing. In addition to feeling unfulfilled, routine neglect of our needs may lead to depressive thoughts, anxious feelings, irritability, and a lowered self-esteem. In order for us to thrive we must be attuned to our needs and capacities in different circumstances. In this season of giving, I invite you to take a step back and consider what YOUR mental health and well-being needs are, and give yourself the gift of self-care.

Self-care can have many forms; not all of which are an elaborate, aesthetically-appealing multi-step process, as commonly advertised. This is not to say that putting on your favourite music, lighting a few candles, and indulging in an aromatic relaxing bath is not a valid form of self-care. On the contrary, you do you! Find actions that help you feel better about yourself. Search for what YOU need to recharge and thrive. It could be taking your car to a maintenance appointment because you are going to feel safer knowing that you accomplished this task. It could also be taking some time off to enjoy the season’s festivities and reconnect with friends and loved ones. It could be reaching out to a therapist to equip you with tools to better manage symptoms of anxiety, depression, or relational issues (shameless plug). It could even be having a quiet evening at home with not much going on. The possibilities are endless, you do you.

If you or anyone you know are having trouble coping with the situational stress of the holiday season, you may want to consider seeking talk-therapy to help introduce tailored coping skills. To continue this conversation, feel free to reach out with any questions, concerns, elaboration requests, or private consultations. Additionally, if there are other topics you would like me to post about in the blog, send me your recommendations. I can be confidentially reached at or at (647) 493-2991. Until then, remember: You do you. See you next Wednesday!


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