How To Handle Christmas and the Holidays When You’re Not Feelin’ It
Are you one of those people that cringe at the thought of Christmas? Is your heart actually two sizes too small?
Maybe you dislike the Christmas and Holidays period all together, or you’re like me and dislike parts of it. I thought that as part of my journey of Persistently Living, I could share with you all how I cope with Christmas and The Holidays When I’m Not THAT into it. I know I need to work on my positivity and how I create the life I want surrounding Christmas and the holidays, but it’s something that I find myself revisiting every year.
Understandably, a lot of people have negative connotations with the Christmas and Holiday season. Whether it’s because they don’t have friends or family to celebrate with, it reminds them of a time of financial stress, or it’s because they don’t like the pressure around being “holly and jolly”, people still have to cope with those months leading up to the season.
Now that we’re deep into December, it’s really important to take the time and figure out HOW you’re going to deal with Christmas and the Holidays. All of these tips may not apply to you depending on how you choose to celebrate and how you actively participate in festivities, but take them all with a grain of salt.
1) Plan Out Your Festivities and To-Do’s If You Know You Have Them
(If this doesn’t really apply to you because you choose to opt out of events and festivities, then skip ahead to #2)
This one is particularly important for people who have Anxiety and Social Anxiety and need to know what’s going on and when. Without knowing what parties, events, dinners, and friends you need to go to and see, it’s difficult to know when you spend your social energy and when you can recoup.
I like to set aside chunks of time in between social events so that I can rejuvenate and have “me time”. Social Anxiety can take a lot out of me when I have back-to-back events moreso than it does for someone who is an extrovert and social butterfly. I’m definitely not a party goer, but things like going to the Mall for present shopping, going out for dinners, and preparing for Christmas and New Years can really take a lot of energy out of me.
Writing your events down in a planner or in your phone can help you see the days you need to prepare for, and the days you know you can sit on a couch and do nothing. If you’d like to read more about planning and how to keep yourself organized, check out this post.
2) Speaking of “Me Time”…Plan That Out and Stick To It!
As important as it is to plan out your activities, it’s also important to plan out “Me Time”. Let’s face it, we all say things like, “OH, TODAY’S GONNA BE ALL ABOUT ME”, but then we end up taking that invitation to go dinner with a coworker (or something to that effect). So when you schedule in “Me Time” seriously, make sure it’s actual “Me Time”.
Plan out something you’d like to do that you will not let anyone else interrupt.
Things like treating yourself to a mani-pedi, binge-watching that TV show you’ve been meaning to watch, or taking a walk to your favourite café are all great things you can schedule into your “Me Time” days. Keep these activities light and enjoyable so you don’t need to spend your energy on your “Me Time” and you can recharge. Here are a few ideas that I like to use:
- Throw on a pair of reading socks or cozy slippers and put on the TV. Give yourself permission to veg out
- Grab yourself an Adult Colouring book and actually focus on the colouring (this also falls into my next suggestion)
- Read a book that you’ve been meaning to read
- Put on your comfiest lounging clothes, grab a blanket and enjoy being a comfy little couch burrito
3) Before You Start Stressing, Do something that Increases Your Mindfulness
Mindfulness is being aware of the actions you are taking and the effect they have on your body. If you know that you get stressed during Christmas and the Holidays, start practicing mindfulness techniques throughout the day.
Actually, start practicing them for your own sanity all year round!
The most basic Mindfulness technique is breathing. You’re probably thinking, “Oh that’s easy, I breathe all the time”. But the trick with mindfulness breathing is that you need to focus on your breathing patterns and how they make your body feel. Nothing else! A great trick for pracing this is to think about a (figurative) candle inside your stomach. When you breathe in, you’re lighting the candle brightly, and when you breathe out, you need to empty out the air completely so the candle goes out. This gets you into the habit of taking deep breaths and shuts off any outside stress that can affect your breathing patterns.
There’s a few apps that can help you out with this, including the Mindfulness App and SAM. Adult Colouring books are also a great way to boost your mindfulness too. These keep you concentrated on the actions of colouring and creating a picture.
4) Do Things At Your Own Pace (Forget About Everyone Else)
I don’t know why people make Christmas such a competition…Who can buy the better gifts, who can bake the best cookies, who can look the best at the office Christmas party. My best advice to everyone is to keep in mind that everyone can and should do things at their own pace.
Just because so-and-so’s boyfriend got her diamond earrings for Christmas, doesn’t mean you need to yell at yours for not getting you diamond earrings too. And just because someone is going to a banging New Years Party, doesn’t mean that you can’t sit at home and movie-marathon-it with a cup of tea.
Do whatever makes you the happiest, and do it at your own pace and within your means. Because if you fake it and pretend to be someone you’re not throughout the Christmas and Holiday season, you’ll either end up with debt or end up with regret. Sounds cheesy, but it’s true.
5) Accept That It’s Totally Okay To NOT Like Christmas and the Holidays
Here’s a not-so-secret secret…
It’s 100% okay not to like the Christmas and Holiday season.
You have your reasons, and I’m not here to tell you that they aren’t valid. But to make it easier on yourself (and on those who you may be with around this time) try to make it as bearable as possible.
Maybe you don’t like being reminded that it’s Christmas with all the decorations. It’s totally okay not to decorate your house despite what Instagram and Pinterest will tell you. I personally love these things, but that’s only because I love design and décor. But I know for some people, especially when decorations are saturated everywhere else, they don’t like it in their homes. Other times, people only put up one or two decorations in one section of their house so they don’t need to be constantly reminded of Christmas.
Maybe you don’t like all the festivities—whether this reason is religion based or socially based—around Christmas. It’s totally okay to skip out on church if that’s not your thing. It’s also totally okay not to love watching Elf like the rest of your friends do. But if you don’t want to do these things, you can definitely find alternatives that you may enjoy. Maybe volunteering your time is more your speed, or watching The Nightmare Before Christmas which is still debated as to what genre that movie is.
Choose what feels the best for you, even if that means that you’re just watching Friends episodes while it’s snowing outside—because that is just enough festivities for you!
Participate in ways that make you feel comfortable and get you through the time around Christmas and the Holidays. Make your own traditions and your own fun around then and rock your decision!
The Real Way To Handling Christmas and The Holidays Like a Boss
The real way to handle Christmas and the Holiday season is by listening to your intuition and creating your month around how you feel and what you actually want to do. Don’t force yourself to be anything or do anything just because “you should”.
The less you stress about hitting the holiday checklist according to social media and society, the more you can actually enjoy taking part in what you’d like to do over the holiday season. If you want to be head-to-toe Christmas every day of the month, then you do you! If you’d rather come home and indulge in the regularities of every day, then you do you!
Make sure that whatever you choose to be involved in and however you spend your days, you are satisfied with your decision. Stick to it and own it because only you know how you can keep your sanity throughout this time of year.
Take these tips and apply them to your Christmas and Holiday season, and let me know how you’ll be dealing with Christmas and the Holidays