Depression and anxiety disorders can become worse during the holidays. If you suffer from depression the pressure of the holidays can make you feel overwhelmed and inadequate. It is hard to keep up with what seems to be expected.
Keep in mind that you can rethink “expectation” and be flexible about how you do things. There are a few places where expectation is coming from and it can help to differentiate where you are feeling the pressure from.
There are pressures that are created by the companies and perpetuated by the news and the other media. You do not have to live up to these expectations because it is just about the stores making money.
Families force their own brand of expectation onto you. This has likely been being programmed into you for years. Use questions to see what is reasonable and what is not. Question the expectation that are in your mind.
You do not have to adapt the expectations of others as expectations that you have for yourself. Do what feels right to you.
If you are feeling anxiety about having to do something then it is not something that supports your well being. See if there is another option. Different families have different expectations of their family members during the holidays and in general.
If you have a history of depressive disorder then you need to make modifications to these “expectations.” Just because you cannot (or do not want to) live up to the expectations of your family, does not mean that you are a bad …sister…daughter…brother…daughter in law,,,etc.
Pressure from family can be draining and can lead to becoming more depressed. You have to take care of yourself. Your mental health matters.
Try to remember that just because someone may tell you they are disappointed in you does not mean that you did anything wrong. People are usually upset because their own agenda has not been met.
Do not lose yourself in other people’s perspective. You have the right to have your own perspective about yourself and about the expectations on you. Taking care of yourself is important, including being able to decide how you see yourself.
If you struggle with mental illness then you have obstacles that other people in your family may not understand. If you need to do things (or not do things) in order to keep yourself okay then you have the right to do so.