Ok, so I know that a lot of people would lo0k at this title and think to themselves, “oh I love Christmas, best time of the year. I love spending time with my family, eating lots of food and giving and receiving presents”. However sadly it isn’t like that for everyone. In fact I think there are lots of people out there who secretly dread Christmas, or at least don’t particularly look forward to it. And there are obvious reasons for this, I don’t need to go through them all. However I want to make it clear that you are not alone, Christmas isn’t exactly my favourite time of the year either. So here are some tips on how to get through it X
1. Arrange to see friends, or family you won’t be seeing on Christmas day either before or after Christmas.
So even on the day would be cool, although I know that when we are away, or even if we are at home with a massive load of family who we don’t get on with surrounding us, it is impossible to “get away” on the day, however being able to look forward to seeing others surrounding Christmas time, can be really helpful. Meeting with people before Christmas can give you something to look forward to during the run up to Christmas, especially a couple of weeks before (I’m sorry, i’m too late), when everyone is going on about what they do at Christmas. Like Christmas day may suck but least there’s other people you can see before then, which may make the period of time; well- suck a bit less. Also it can put you in a better frame of mind on Christmas day, especially if you’re seeing the sort of people who are really good at lifting your mood. This way, it should put you in a more positive mindset on the day, so your mindset is less likely to go downwards as far.
Then seeing friends after the “day of doom” can also make things a little bit more bearable, by giving you something to look forward to on that particular day. I think that having something nice to look forward to shortly after Christmas which isn’t work or school, can be so beneficial! As it will enable you to focus on that, rather than focus on the negative vibes that Christmas day is giving off.
2. Go to a Christmas related event in your local area
Thiss can be a genuinely uplifting experience. For me, just going around and looking at the lights around Bournemouth gardens puts me in the “festive spirit”. Because not only I am able to appreciate the arrangement of the lights, but it reminds me that Christmas isn’t just about what happens about the day. But what happens around that time. And it makes me remember that there are great things to see and do relating to Christmas, which definitely don’t just take place on Christmas day!
I also think that getting involved in Christmas carols, whether that’s being in the choir yourself, watching others, or going to a thing where everyone has to sing lol can be a great way of bringing people together and putting everyone in the Christmas spirit. Where you also realise that the day itself is not the only part of celebrating Christmas. In fact I genuinely prefer the run up to Christmas tot Christmas day itself, even though I don’t exactly dread Christmas day these days. And I reckon that even if I did get lodes of presents (which I don’t) the same would still apply.
3. Remember the “true meaning of Christmas”
So I think that for anyone who may struggle financially this is important, and for anyone who doesn’t struggle financially this is even more important. This is because Christmas is NOT about receiving gifts, spending hours on end around shops stressing about what to buy for who, and receiving tonnes of usless gifts that you’re probably only going to use like once or twice. Instead traditionally it is a religious event. And I know that now it has been adopted into our culture as more of a materialistic thing. However, not being religious myself, I accept that it is now part of our culture but I most certainly don’t believe that it is now just an event where people buy then receive plasticy gifts for the sake of it. In fact I think it is extremely ssad how so many kids only sseem to get excited over their presents.
So instead I believe it is a time of reflection, celebration, and relaxation. And who you spend that time with should be up to you and it doesn’t have to be done on the day itself if that is difficult. So don’t count the tangible gifts, count the memories, achievements and the difficult times of the previous year and bring hope to the year coming.
4. Try to be optimistic, but no pressure
As previously said, Christmas should be a time of reflection rather than a time of obsessing over money blah blah blah. However, what if there is not much positive things to reflect upon. For people who have had a bad year, a period of reflecting on the year, and having to pretend to be happy is the last thing that you want. However think this way. Out of everything bad that happens, something good must bloom! Now I know this is still hard thinking like this. However one sort of positive thing you get after going through shit, is becoming a stronger person. Think about how resilient you are now, compared tot this time last year, lets say. I know it’s not always easy to think like this, but it is true. When we go through a difficult time, we don’t really have much choice apart from putting up with it, then getting through it. And if you have had a difficult year, this is literally what you have done! Inevitably, after putting yourself though a rough time, yoou will turn out a stronger person. Like it or not! And just think, what is this strong, boss ass person going to be able to achieve the following year due to getting through the time that has just come. Come on. Nott every year has to be bad does it.
5. Work towards something
Yep. So surly Christmas should be a break right? Yes of course. But when you are having a really shitty time, it is nice to be able to feel that you are working towards something positive. It can act as a reason to feel good about yourself and positive about the coming year, as well as being a distraction. Now it doesn’t matter what that thing is. Whether is is a Christmas DIY like a paper snowflake, baking or a more long term goal. Now doing something short term, will most certainly be the break you need from day to day work and life, whilst you will feel more accomplished by doing something positive with your time. Meanwhile working on a more long term goal, may make you feel better about yourself not just on the day, by taking another step to what you are working towards, but in the new year, having gone a bit further on the task that you never usually have time for. Now I know that can be quite strenuous, and for some it is better just to chill. But if you find yourself “bored” around Christmas day, and maybe needing distractions, this may well help.
So this is an extremely broad topic, but this is basically what it says on the tin. If things are difficult, try doing something else. Whether this is for yourself or for other people. It basically gives your mind another place to be, instead of just the shit you are getting on the day.
7. Write a new years “Bucket list”
So if you’re not feeling particular optimistic about this time of year or about the year that’s just come by, then why not write a list of things that you would like to do in the new year. Nott only will it take your mind off what is going on right now, it will also put you in a more positive mindset about the following year. As realistically Christmas time is just a few days in the year, and what happens most of the time is more important. And as there is nothing you can do about the past, then why not play your part in making the next year as good as it can be.
7. Help out the family or whoever with the chores
So I know it sounds boring, and rather like a chore if you are going to be with family who don’t seem to appreciate you or vise versa. However just think how much they may appreciate a little help with cutting up all of the vegetables for the Christmas dinner. A rather straight forward taks may be immensely helpful to whoever is cooking the dinner, and it can be rather distracting and time consuming for you.
7. Help others eg volunteering
So if you are literally alone for Christmas ( sending a massive massive virtual hug. I love you so much and you have got this) or if you just want to help the less fortunate, then this is a perfect idea. Any sort of volunteering is so so helpful, and can literally change a persons Christmas time experience. Working in an establishment that provides free Christmas food for the homeless, may not change the world. But it will change those people’s world’s for that day at least. Just having 1 more person helping, means that this one person will be able to have a chat with many different people. Which like I say, isn’t going to have any long term effect on the world, but just think for one person who may not talk to anybody on Christmas day, talking to just one person can have a massive massive improvement. Furthermore if you are helping people who are homeless, you are contributing to providing shelter, nourishment and social time for so many people. It is such a lovely thing to do, and a brand new experience. And if you are struggling with Christmas, whatever type of person you are helping, you may be able to establish something in common. A struggle for Christmas is a start. The may be able to provide you with brilliant advise and guidelines. As at the end of the day, they are humans. Just like you and me
7. Go for a walk
Honestly just getting outside and moving a little can have some positive impact on the way you feel. Now we have all heard about how good “fresh air and exercise” can be for you, and its ttrue. So I understand when you are really feeling down, realistically the last thing you want to do is get up and go for a walk. However it can prevent you from feeling too low. For me, it really can distract as I am able to appreciate the nature and what else there is going on outside, rather than focus on my own life. As well, it is a safer place to reflect on the past and the future in a more positive way. Also it enables you to get away from the bother of it all:)
WOW, so after all these relatively healthy coping mechanisms i’ve suggested, I decide to go and put alcohol. Rolls eyes. Ok, so I know that is far from the best choice on what to do. But lets face it. We are humans, we aren’t always going to choose what is typically “best”. And lets faced it, when we feel most down, we aren’t exactly going to do a bit of yoga down the park, before making a start on our project that we were intending on beginning, the following year. No of course not. However I don’t really think it’s that bad to have a drink. It can put us in a better, more relaxed mood and take us away from the emotional exhaustion of Christmas. So yeah it’s not great. But think about it… Drink at 5, bed at 11? That is 6 hours of peace.
7. Remember it is not that important
So after having to hear all the fuss about Christmas, coming from like literally everyone you know, you’re bound to feel rather overwhelmed that Christmas is right on your doorstep. So I think it would be nice, if sometimes people could just shut up about it. But honestly, in the scheme of things it is not that important. There are many other times of the year that we can look forward to, whether that’s spring time, April fools or obviously summer! When people don’t shut up about it, it is usually because they are stressed, and stress is not a good thing and they can’t really be having the most excellent time if they are stressed out of their minds now, can they? And with regards to the shops, it is all just a fat money making exercise. Hence why when you walk into a shop any time after Halloween, all you are able to spot is christmasy shit.
So yeah, it really isn’t that important. Just stay strong, you can get through these few days. Message me if you feel lost.