Redefining Holiday Joy: A Call to Prioritize Personal Well-being Over Social Pressures

,

 / 

Holiday Joy

As the holiday season approaches, a refreshing perspective of holiday joy emerges, urging individuals to break free from the shackles of gift obsessions and societal expectations. The call comes from Neil Humphreys, a seasoned contributor, encouraging people to focus on what truly matters during Christmas and the New Year, challenging the traditional norms that often lead to stress and discontent.

Humphreys paints a relatable picture of the typical holiday chaos, from family gatherings to the meticulous planning of gift lists and the unintentional creation of grudge lists.

The article humorously captures the essence of the season, highlighting the struggles many face, including traffic woes, gift complaints, and the unavoidable encounters with relatives who might not always be pleasant.

The author questions the inherent stress associated with the holiday season, asking a fundamental question: Why do we subject ourselves to these pressures? While acknowledging the validity of medical experts’ discussions about holiday blues and stress management, Humphreys delves into the heart of the matter – the importance of focusing on enduring positive memories.

He shares a poignant personal story about his step-father’s reaction to an England football jersey gift, which, in hindsight, became a cherished memory. This narrative becomes a powerful reminder that the holiday season should be about creating lasting moments with loved ones, rather than succumbing to societal pressures and expectations.

Impact Of Social Media On Holiday Joy

The article critiques the pervasive influence of social media, where seemingly perfect family snapshots and extravagant celebrations can set unrealistic standards. Humphreys advises readers not to fall into the trap of comparing their celebrations to the curated images flooding their feeds. He debunks the illusion of perfection behind many holiday photos, emphasizing the importance of authenticity.

The societal trend of commodifying and repackaging the holiday season as a time of flawless joy is explored, with Humphreys urging individuals to enjoy the festivities on their own terms.

He challenges readers to make their holiday season about personal choices and cherished moments, whether it involves traditional activities, a quiet night in, or opting out of the celebrations altogether.

The article touches on the stress associated with meeting societal expectations, from elaborate table settings planned months in advance to the relentless pressure to fulfill a multitude of obligations.

Humphreys advocates for a radical shift in mindset – a call to do only what one can and to reject the unrealistic demands imposed by social norms and nagging relatives.

Citing research findings on the increased stress levels during the holiday season, Humphreys introduces the concept of “set-shifting” and the strain it puts on the brain’s prefrontal cortex. He proposes a radical thought – to simplify and prioritize personal well-being over excessive planning and societal demands.

In conclusion, Humphreys encourages readers to break free from the Grinch of the holiday season – social media comparison. He suggests cutting back on obligations, saying ‘no’ more often, and focusing on affordable celebrations.

The article concludes with a poignant reminder that the true essence of the holiday season lies in cherishing and remembering what truly matters – the genuine moments that bring joy and laughter, even if it involves a step-father wearing women’s underwear on his head.


— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply

Up Next

Stress Can Lead to Cortisol Belly: Here’s How to Fix It

Holiday Joy

Stress can affect our lives in many ways, from our mental health to our relationships, but it can also lead to physical symptoms such as ‘cortisol belly’. Cortisol belly, named after the stress hormone, has been widely discussed on social platforms such as TikTok, with users and experts explaining how it occurs, and theorizing what could be done about it.

While you may not have heard of the term ‘cortisol belly’ before, you might have heard of stubborn belly fat or stress belly, which are essentially the same thing. This is because it refers to the accumulation of visceral adipose tissue around the stomach, which has been linked to prolonged exposure to elevated levels of the stress hormone, cortisol.

What Is Cortisol Belly?

According to dietitian

Up Next

Study Reveals the Complex Relationship Between Calorie Restriction and Longevity

Holiday Joy

For years, scientists have speculated that consuming fewer calories might help people live longer. A recent study has shed new light on this topic, suggesting that the relationship between calorie restriction and longevity is more complex than previously thought.

“We’ve known for nearly 100 years that calorie restriction can extend healthy lifespan in a variety of laboratory animals,” stated one researcher last year to CNN.

However, the new study seems to indicate a more intricate relationship between calorie restriction and living to a ripe old age.

“There are many reasons why caloric restriction may extend human lifespans, and the topic is still being studied,” explained Waylon Hastings, lead author of the study and postdoctoral researcher. “One primary mechanism through which life is extended relates t

Up Next

Exercise Cuts Heart Disease Risk by Lowering Stress, Study Finds

Holiday Joy

New research indicates that physical activity lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, in part by reducing stress-related signaling in the brain. The study, led by investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that people with stress-related conditions such as depression experienced the most cardiovascular benefits from physical activity.

To assess the mechanisms underlying the psychological and cardiovascular disease benefits of physical activity, Ahmed Tawakol, an investigator and cardiologist in the Cardiovascular Imaging Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, and his colleagues analyzed medical records and other information of 50,359 participants from the Mass General Brigham Biobank who completed a physical activity survey.

A subset of 774 participants also underw

Up Next

Lack of Sleep Linked to Rising Cases of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, Warns Expert

Holiday Joy

In a recent revelation, lack of adequate sleep has been associated with a concerning rise in cases of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), according to insights shared by medical experts. As sleep deprivation continues to plague a significant portion of the population, the implications on public health are becoming increasingly alarming.

More than a third of adults in the United States fail to attain the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep each night, a trend that has sparked growing concerns among healthcare professionals. The scarcity of shuteye, it turns out, can have profound effects beyond daytime fatigue and drowsiness.

What is Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease?

According to Ibrahim Hanouneh, a gastroenterologist with

Up Next

Study Explores Impact of Residential Green Space on Childhood Mental Health

Holiday Joy

A recent study published in JAMA Network Open investigates the relationship between residential green space and externalizing and internalizing symptoms in children. Conducted in the United States, the study aims to identify potential factors that can mitigate risks associated with childhood mental health disorders.

According to the study, up to 40% of children in the US may meet the criteria for mental disorders by adulthood, with an increased prevalence of externalizing (e.g., rule-breaking and aggression) and internalizing (e.g., depression and anxiety) symptoms.

Researchers suggest that environmental factors, such as green spa

Up Next

Study Links Volatile Work Hours to Burnout and Health Issues

Holiday Joy

A recent study conducted by NYU Social Work professor Wen-Jui Han has shed light on the detrimental effects of volatile work hours on both physical and mental health. The research, which analyzed data spanning over 30 years, found a significant correlation between irregular work hours and increased health concerns.

The study, which examined the work schedules and sleep patterns of over 7,000 Americans, revealed that individuals working rotating shifts were more prone to health problems such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. The primary factor contributing to these issues was identified as a disruption in sleep patterns caused by inconsistent work schedules.

Jamaica Shiers, a representative from Path Behavioral Health in Salt Lake City, emphasized the prevalence of burnout among adults, attributing it to the pressure to maintain peak performance at al

Up Next

New Study Suggests Balanced Diet Better Than Vegetarian Diet for Brain Health

Holiday Joy

In a groundbreaking study published in Nature Mental Health, researchers have shed light on the relationship between dietary patterns and brain health. The study suggests that a balanced diet, comprising various food types, may be superior to a vegetarian diet in supporting mental well-being and cognitive function.

The research, which analyzed data from nearly 182,000 participants, focused on four main dietary patterns: starch-free/reduced starch, vegetarian, high-protein/low-fiber, and balanced diet. Participants’ food preferences were examined in categories such as fruits, vegetables, starches, protein, and snacks.