We are told by movies, ads on television, celebrities and other media that Christmas is fun and exciting but for many people it really isn’t.
Here are a few stressors that affect a lot of people over Christmas:
Finding the ‘right’ gift
There is so much emphasis on finding the perfect gift for your family, friend or loved one that it actually gets more stressful than actually enjoying giving the gift. We spend so much time wondering if they will like it, the cost, do they already have it? That we get lost in the buzz and anxiety of the whole event.
All of the planning
The amount of time and effort put into planning one day a year is mind boggling. Whether it be decorations, the Christmas ham with all the fillings, the invitations the decorating the tree takes on a life of its own.
The big one, dealing with Family
We often hear from clients about their gritted teeth on Christmas when they need to see their uncle after not seeing them for 12 months and needing to put on a smile and small talk to someone they don’t even like. There is this underlying contract that family is important and that everyone should play happy families despite some real hurt. There may have been a family fight that has divided uncle from nephew or mother from son, so much so that the thought of Christmas is painful.
For some Christmas can be extremely lonely if they need to work, they have been pushed away from family members or that physically they can attend for a number of reasons. The missing out can devastate people who dont feel like they belong to a family and a re left on their own.
So do we just give up on Christmas?
I’m sure many people would like to hide away and shut off from the day completely. This is totally fine but i also think that we can step back and try to experience the day differently.
- Try not buying presents, try inviting a friend who will be alone or go somewhere different with just you and your intimate family. Thinking about things differently makes us stop and attend to what is important.
- Talk to friends and family about how they celebrate Christmas. Sometimes we get so caught up in our process of doing things that we miss doing things in a different and more simplified way.
- Ask yourself: how would it be if there was less stress about the day? How would it be if you could just be yourself and enjoy the time rather than fretting and worrying?
- Give yourself the gift of making Christmas and actual holiday.
If you are having a tough time thinking about Christmas and what will happen or would like a one off debriefing session, Safe Place Therapy is willing to work with you. You can also check the different articles about stress management that we have prepared for you.
Reach out today to think and feel differently.