Christmas can be a stressful time of year for many. The pressure to ‘have a good time’ can be overwhelming. It may seem that everyone is full of joy and excitement with frantic shopping sprees, the fridge groaning with food, and dashing around to catch up with social commitments with friends and family. Some love dressing up and sparkle with bonhomie and fabulous social skills, hosting with expertise.
Loneliness, anxiety and depression are all too common at this time of year, with the dread of Christmas highlighting Christmases past where memories of festivities are not happy ones. The loss of a loved on, the break-up of a relationship, financial pressures, social anxiety and family politics all add up to a very unhappy time.
Being alone at Christmas is stressful for some, but others may find the absence of pressure to join in’ liberating. Being able to please yourself, watch what you want to on TV, eat what you want, when you want is a great way to treat yourself, and to care for yourself when you may feel that no-one else cares.
To survive Christmas, it can be really helpful to plan ahead. Work in time to do what you need to do. Plan time for commitments but also allow ‘time out’ for your self to escape for a while to a quiet room, or take a walk. Commit to seeing who you want to spent time with, and excuse yourself from situations you find difficult. This can be done kindly so as not to offend.
Spare a thought for those that work at this time of year, maybe in the retail and catering trades, or farming and animal care, where the job continues 365 days of the year. in all weathers.
An alternative Christmas mat be appealing. Out aside the traditions and create some new ones for yourself, Maybe going for a walk with a packed lunch instead of the big turkey meal, or volunteer at one of the many brilliant organisations that provide for others.Maybe there are others in your neighbourhood that need company.
The most important thing to survive Christmas is to look after yourself, and to treat yourself, whatever your situation. Acknowledge the needs of people around you too, but have self-respect enough to value what you would like to do/not do.
Take care through the festivities, but continue to have self-belief and to care for yourself in the coming year.
Best wishes, Claire