If this year has left you worn out and limping towards the finish line it’s easy to dread the festive season.
There’s something about Christmas that makes it feel almost impossible to opt out. It’s everywhere. You can’t go a moment without the reminder that ‘it’s the most wonderful time of the year’, which of course isn’t what you want to hear when for you, it really isn’t feeling that wonderful.
Some of us this year will be hurtling towards Christmas with a sense of dread and a wish for it all to just go away. An enforced Christmas can enduce stomach churning fear and an intense desire to hibernate quietly somewhere cold and wait for the madness to pass.
Christmas isn’t always easy and it can be one of the most difficult times of the year for lots of people. There is an expectation to be happy and jolly and when you’re not feeling like celebrating it can be really hard. It’s also not unusual for your sadness to become accentuated when you’re watching and observing everyone else’s (perceived) happiness!
This can make the holiday season feel very isolating and sometimes hard to cope with. Everyone else seems to be getting more and more excited and festive and as their Christmas radar peaks yours hits rock bottom. There is often an expectation to join in with the buzz of it all, to plaster a smile on your face and get stuck in. However, pretending the Christmas spirit has swept you away when just getting through the day is effort enough can be, quite frankly soul destroying and exhausting.
There is someone missing in my family this year: Me, Myself and I , who died on my birthday; December 08. I use to care for it but now it just kills me, this isn’t a cry for help or to seem dark but I’m writing this post because I was asked howcome I am not doing any “Christmas Posts or Vlogmas”. I’m just not feeling so joyful and warm, my birthday sucked this year and I am over everyone I mean EVERYONE. Plus, the more I think about it the more I realized how Christmas is more about gifts and not enough about celebrating the birth of Jesus. While some are trying to figure out how they can move on from their love ones, I’m over here plotting on how to not have these people in my face. Am I wrong?!
There are lots of people feeling the same as you this year. Trust me there are. They are hard to spot because they are probably the ones keeping quiet and hiding or they are putting on a brave face and doing their best to fake it and put on a show. All of us have times in our lives where things are quite frankly a little bit shit and we will all have years where we don’t feel like celebrating. This is your year but it is also someone else’s year too. You aren’t alone and you’re probably in better company than you realise. Don’t be too scared of telling people how you’re feel, you never know, it might help them to admit that they are struggling too.
You might not want to celebrate the holiday season and you might want to totally opt out but is there someway that you could think of to look after yourself instead? Is there something you could do to treat yourself? To give yourself a break? To recognise that just because you don’t feel like celebrating doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself a break. Perhaps you want to curl up with a good book or teach yourself a new skill? Perhaps you want to set yourself a challenge or emerse yourself in nature? Give yourself the gift of a little bit of time just focused for you and be kind to yourself.
Give yourself permission to opt out if you want to. Want to skip Christmas drinks? Bail on your friends? Bunker down and hide away for a little while? That’s all ok, don’t be afraid of putting your needs first. You don’t need to feel that you have to or should do anything that you don’t want to. Traditions can be lovely things and are a nice way of people providing structure to a holiday but that is all they are and sometimes disengaging with them can be really refreshing! Want to banish turkey, christmas music and presents-why not! Want to ditch the Christmas party and catch up on Netflix instead- go for it! You might end up creating some new ways of spending your holiday time that become personal traditions that work out for you.
Christmas is a time of year where there is hope, generosity and goodwill all across the world and even if the idea of jumping feet first into it all isn’t appealing don’t be too quick to write it all off. Experiencing it for what it is, and giving yourself permission to enjoy moments and feel happy is really important. Even when things are tough, beautiful moments and things can still happen and will happen if you are open to them. So don’t fully opt out of Christmas just yet, take it for what it is and be open to enjoying elements and celebrating the good in the world; it is there. This year things might be tough but things change and time heals. The way you feel right now doesn’t define you and chances are you won’t always feel this way. Be kind to yourself, take care and stay in the moment.
If you’re struggling today and need to talk, head over to my instagram and dm me. I will not share any personal information that we discussed about.