I love Christmas! Well, most years! Don’t get me wrong, like most people I have had years where I have dreaded it, when people I have loved have passed away or when I’ve had to contend with difficult family members and their insistence on doing things their way! I know that the festive season can be difficult for all sorts of reasons. And, of course, the TV and media make it look like everyone else is having such a wonderful time with their large, attractive looking wealthy families in their beautiful homes. Maybe, it all leaves you feeling sad, isolated, lonely or envious?
Having rhythms and rituals in our lives can support us emotionally and help us to feel calm when we are troubled. Normally, it can be as simple as always leaving important things such as your glasses or keys in the same place so that you don’t have to waste valuable energy trying to find them when you need them. During the Christmas period, when we are stretched to the limit by all the other expectations we place on ourselves, rituals can make a real difference.
Why do we feel down at Christmas?
Many people start to feel lethargic and down during the holiday period. This can be brought on by many different factors, such as the shorter daylight hours and poor weather preventing us getting fresh air and exercise. Plus, whilst many of us look forward to a break in routine, not having a routine can be bad for our mental health.
Maybe your family looks different this year? When the children no longer come home for Christmas, it can leave the occasion feeling rather meaningless and sad.
Perhaps you have lost someone special in your life in recent years and you will miss them at Christmas. Loss and grief are heightened at this time and it can feel very raw. You might have to draw deep into your emotional resilience to be able to get through the day. It is okay to feel sad and to shed a tear. It is important to recognise your loss and many people find that lighting a candle in remembrance of the loved one will help provide a focus. Also, it is good to talk about the missing person, perhaps share some happy memories with others who knew her or him.
So how do you get through it?
Here are some top tips to help if you’re not looking forward to Christmas:
- One of the key things to do is to be kind to yourself. You are doing your best.
- It is important to acknowledge how you are feeling and the reasons why you feel this way.
- Also be kind to others too, it the season of goodwill to all men, after all! Remember that there is a lot of pressure placed on us all so do give people the benefit of the doubt.
- By all means, relax your routine but consider establishing a new one with different times to get up and go to bed.
- Try adding some new meaningful rituals into your life. Set your intention. Ask yourself: what do I want to feel right now in my life? Once you are clear on what you want, ask yourself: what can I do that would help me feel this way. For example, if your intention is to relax then create a ritual around brewing your favourite tea or coffee. If your intention is to remember the one you’ve lost or can’t be with then perhaps watch their favourite film or visit a place that they loved to invoke happy memories and so that you feel close to them.
- Focus some time on those less fortunate than you. Research has shown that giving makes us happy. So take some time over the festive period and give something back to your local community or a charity you support. I guarantee you will feel better for doing so.
If you want some support, I am running a calm, confident advent in my free Facebook group ‘Suzanne’s Confidence Cafe’, come and join us.
You’d be very welcome
Finally, I’d like to say a very big thank you for reading my blogs and wish you a very merry Christmas