The Christmas season is a fun time for lots of people and not so much for others. If you’re struggling already, the extra social pressure to be happy and involved over the Christmas period can be too much.
This time of year can be particularly stressful and painful for people who have lost loved ones. It can also be extremely difficult for people who are triggered or upset by the behaviour of certain family members. Christmas can also be really hard to deal with if you struggle with depression, anxiety or an eating disorder.
A recent relationship or marriage ending can be another reason Christmas is difficult – and this may be further complicated if there are children involved. Some people feel caught between different sides of their family, in terms of who others expect them to spend their time with at Christmas. Financial worries can be felt more acutely at this time of year.
Another reason for stress in some people is the need to have everything perfect – the perfect presents, food, house, or outfit. When you are not feeling especially strong or centered within yourself, the expectations and comments of others can push you further off balance.
Maybe too much socialising isn’t your problem. Maybe you feel lonely and alone and unloved at Christmas time. And wish you had people around you. You see people you know on Facebook and Instagram appearing to be having a great time. And you wonder where your people are.
Here are a few tips I’ve put together to help you get through the festive season:
- Learn some calming, breathing techniques and practice them daily.
- If you’re not coping, or really not having fun, is there someone you can talk to about how you feel?
- Do a regular check in with yourself.
- Write down all your worries, without editing them.
- Do nice things for yourself.
- If you do find yourself in a stressful social situation, and you feel you’re not coping so well, try giving yourself a moment. Remove yourself from the situation.
- Volunteering. This often makes you realise how lucky you are and appreciate that there are others who are less fortunate than you.
Remember, sometimes you need to get out of your comfort zone in order to have a good time. I realise that it was easier said than done but good luck.
By Kate Ball