Emotional Labor Is Even More Exhausting This Holiday Season

The holidays are a time of intense emotional labor under normal circumstances, that is, without a global pandemic happening, which means this year is even more difficult, but for very different reasons. Cathy Adams is a licensed clinical social worker explains, “This year necessitates a lot of creativity in making sure family ‘stays close while apart,’ which means potentially coming up with an entirely new plan for the holidays. The uncertainty is at an all-time high, but women feel tasked to carry on and find as much holiday spirit as possible. It’s a new kind of exhaustion—less about a busy party season, and more about staying optimistic and figuring out new ways to find joy.”

Expert Eve Rodsky says the key to making the holiday season feel right is focusing on your values. To that, Adams notes, “While many of us would like to leave this year behind, the hope is that we can take this understanding with us in 2021—instead of going back to our over-the-top holiday expectations, we can make choices that align with what we value. We can take care of ourselves and focus our energy on what serves and honors the people we love.”