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Bear Psychology Podcast

Dr. Anna Baranowsky is a Canadian Clinical Psychologist, CEO of the Traumatology Institute, Founder and President of the Board at Trauma Practice. She is the author of two books on trauma, numerous courses to help train professionals in trauma mental health and the developer of the Trauma Recovery Program for Self-Guided trauma care. She works with trauma survivors and those with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) on post-traumatic growth and recovery.

Through her work she believes that when we share, dialogue and feel supported, it provides a powerful foundation for forward movement in our understanding and the care needed. In her own words "I have found that the most profound changes occur when a person truly feels heard and understood - I like to think of it as deeply BEARING WITNESS to life evolving. We can feel incredibly stuck when we live with our fears, stressors and troubles in isolation."

Dr.Baranowsky is the host of the Bear Psychology Show, focusing on bearing witness to Evolving Mood, Mind, Health. Her talks revolve around recovery, relationships, work and life adventures.

She is dedicated to assisting organizations and health professionals who help trauma survivors to ensure a trauma informed lens of care can grow in community health networks. With that vision in 1998, the Traumatology Institute Canada (TIC) was established. TIC has trained thousands of individuals nationally and internationally.

Dr. Baranowsky serves on the board of directors of the Academy of Traumatology and is a Board Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress through the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and is recognized by The National Center for Crisis Management. She has published in the area of Post-Traumatic Stress, Compassion Fatigue, and therapeutic relationships (the Silencing Response).

Copyright:  Dr. Anna Baranowsky, 2020

Dec 12, 2019

Holidays can be a stressful time of year. There is pressure to make the perfect dinner, give a great gift, spend time with family members you don’t see frequently, and plan fun family festivities. All of this can leave you feeling stressed, depressed, lonely, fatigued, and underappreciated. The holiday blues is a term that accurately describes the mixture of unpleasant emotions one feels over the course of a seemingly joyous time.

Not only can the holidays leave you feeling depleted, you may also be left with an depleted bank account. All too often families feel the need to impress one another with fancy gifts and dinners. Another reality is that people may not have much to offer to begin with and are splurging on each other at this time of year out of guilt.

You are not alone:

Holiday blues and overspending polls:

Although the majority of people surveyed reported feeling happy and in good spirits over the holiday season, however, feelings of sadness, stress, and fatigue still come up.

“38% of people surveyed said their stress level increased during the holiday season. Participants listed the top stressors: lack of time, lack of money, commercialism, the pressures of gift-giving, and family gatherings.”

Another survey shows 53% of people think the holidays will put a financial strain on them. Also, 20% of people enter the holiday season with no plan to manage their spending.

Factors that contribute to holiday stress

  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Poor coping mechanisms such as drinking which ultimately leads to more stress
  • Unresolved conflicts in the family
  • Not setting or sticking to a budget

For more factors that contribute to holiday stress and depression click here.

Managing holiday stress and overspending:

The good news is that holiday stress and overspending can be managed. You can take control of your holiday and turn it into a well-deserved vacation instead of a dreaded time of year.

  • Discuss expectations with loved ones
  • Engage in meaningful activities with your family
  • Stay active, exercise can help manage emotions
  • Volunteer with an organization and give back to your community
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Avoid impulse purchases
  • Track your spending
  • Recognize your coping mechanisms for stress, if they seem negative seek help

Dr. Beth Rush a neuropsychologist with the Mayo Clinic highlights three ways to reduce holiday stress in this short video clip.

Some useful Resources:

Talks about being mindful: Click HERE

Good resources for managing stress: Click HERE

Also has good coping strategies: Click HERE

Coping with financial stress: Click HERE

Neuropsychologist from Mayo Clinic talking about reducing stress over the holidays. Click HERE