Christmas can be a lot.
There’s so much pressure to spend money on gifts, nights out, pyjamas and clothing. Not to mention the pressure around having Insta perfect decorations and negative thoughts about food.
When you’re feeling a bit down or stressed about the holidays, no matter the reason, it can feel like a punch in the gut when everyone else seems to be full of cheer. And there is no escaping Christmas, which again, can be a lot.
Here’s some advice if you’re struggling this Christmas.
I’m struggling with grief.
Whether your grief is still raw or years old, Christmas can bring it all to the surface again. And as horrible as that is, it’s ok. Don’t feel guilty if you’re struggling to deal with grief this Christmas and equally don’t be hard on yourself if you find yourself enjoying certain moments. Accept that you are going to have some sad moments, but hopefully some nice ones too, and that’s ok.
We have a full article on dealing with grief at Christmas, which I would really recommend reading.
I didn’t get what I wanted.
There are definitely way worse things in the world, but look, we’ve all been there. You ask for something, you think you’re getting it and then you open your presents on Christmas morning and it’s not there. It can be disappointing.
Even though we get so hyped over gifts, it’s not the meaning of Christmas. Be happy with what you got and most importantly be grateful for the people who you have around you.
Also remember that sometimes there can be a money issue that you don’t know about or more often than not, a well-meaning parent who thinks they’re doing great surprising you with something different.
It’s just a present, you can always save up and buy what you want yourself at another time. It’s the thought that counts.
My family don’t get on.
Families are tough the whole year round; they’re even tougher at Christmas.
Even families who get on well will tell you that they often come away from Christmas with a few crosswords said and some sort of conflict, so don’t be thinking that your family is “the only family who don’t get along at Christmas”.
If there are already some issues within your family, try keep away from the conflict as much as possible.
You can’t control other people, so just try be the best version of yourself. If that means that you have to bite your tongue a few times and make an effort with someone who you’d rather not, you can at least be happy with yourself.
I feel like my Christmas isn’t as good as my friends on Instagram.
I used to get so hyped for Christmas and then I would get so down when it rolled around because it wasn’t how I thought it ‘should’ be.
My Christmases are very quiet; I’m an only child, so it’s just me, my mam and the fur babies. We generally open the presents and then chill for the day in our pjs. We even eat our Christmas dinner in our pyjamas, which I now love, but I used to hate it because I felt like I should be doing a Christmas Day Outfit – silly I know, but social media can make you feel like it’s a requirement.
It wasn’t until a friend told me how she wished she could sit around in her pyjamas all day at home watching Christmas movies like me instead of navigating a huge family Christmas that I realised the grass really is greener.
Christmas is what you make it. Whether that’s a big family Christmas or something quieter, it doesn’t matter as long as you are happy and spend it with loved ones. It’s never too late to start a new tradition (this is the first year me and my mam are doing matching Christmas pyjamas!) and if you do nothing at all that’s perfectly fine too.
Social media can be great, but it does bring out the green-eyed monster and serious FOMO. The thing is, there’s always going to be someone out there who has more than you; a better Christmas Day outfit, more family around and total #christmasgoals, whether it’s the Kardashians with their OTT Christmas Eve party or your bestie.
Do yourself a favour and log out of your social media apps on Christmas Eve and stay off of it until the 26th. Instead focus on being in the moment and participating in whatever Christmas means to you.
I’m feeling really down.
Christmas can be so, so hard. Some of these things on this list may feel like small things to some people, but maybe to you, they feel like big things. And maybe you have some other stuff going on as well?
In that case, please talk to someone. I know it probably feels like the hardest thing, but voicing those fears, anxieties and struggles takes the power out of them.
If you don’t feel like you have anyone who you can confide in please take a look at the Helplines page for some of the services out there. You are not alone, no matter how much it might feel like that at times.
I really do hope that you find some peace and joy over the holidays. Be kind to yourself!x