Self-Harm and Finding Focus During the Holidays

December 12, 2014 Jennifer Aline Graham

The holiday season makes people crazy. Plain and simple, that is the truth. This craziness often consists of anxiety overload, feeling overwhelmed due to tight budgets and having difficulty prioritizing. From deciding what to buy for loved ones to deciding what to cook for holiday gatherings, life can become one big ball of stress and, at times, it can be hard taking a moment to focus on you.

I have discussed Self-Harm and Anxiety: Jetson Thoughts in previous blogs and explained the meaning behind the phrase: “Jetson thoughts” are when you have a million different ideas and thoughts racing through your head and you can’t decide how to separate them. I coined this term after the old cartoon, The Jetsons, and how there are always flying cars whizzing and darting around each other in the sky – similar to how your brain may feel when you are overwhelmed.

Especially during this time of year, it can be more than stressful when trying to prioritize your Jetson thoughts if they are constantly banging up against your skull. It can be hard finding ways to focus on what is really important during the holiday season when you are tied up with work and money issues and last minute gift-giving.

It can be hard to focus on your own interests and needs during the holiday season, but it is important to do so, find focus and push self-harm triggers aside.

For those struggling with self-harm, this time of the year can be more frustrating than enjoyable. If someone who self-harms is already stressed, buying gifts may be the last thing on their mind and that extra stressor could be the trigger leading them to a sharp object.

Do Not Let Jetson Thoughts Take Over the Holidays

Whether it be getting rear ended in icy traffic (unfortunately, this recently happened to me) or forgetting to buy a gift for someone, self-harm triggers are everywhere during this time of the year. It can be tough getting rid of those anxious Jetson thoughts and taking time to focus on your own interests before feeling the urge to harm your body.

Therefore, it is important to find useful ways to help organize your mind in hopes of leaving those thoughts of self-harm behind.

Everyone is unique in how they handle stress during the holiday season. Some people see shopping as a coping skill while others see it as a trigger. One person may relax by baking holiday cookies while someone with weight insecurities or eating disorders could see that, too, as a trigger. It is important to be proactive with your interests and hobbies and take time to do the activities that will bring your mind at ease.

When life gets hectic, people sometimes forget what makes them truly happy because the happiness of others is sometimes on the forefront during the holiday season. Take the time to clear your mind and focus on your personal hobbies and interests. Make a realistic schedule and instead of stressing over gift giving or cooking the perfect holiday meal, focus on your happiness before self-harm gets in the way. When you make an agenda, make sure you follow it and do not let anything get in the way of you taking time for you.

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APA Reference
Aline, J. (2014, December 12). Self-Harm and Finding Focus During the Holidays, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, May 16 from

Author: Jennifer Aline Graham

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