Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace, love, celebration and joy. But there are also many points of the holidays that can generate anxiety: absences, family meals, shopping, commitments, the way to approach the holidays for our children, how to live it if you practice another religion …
Whatever your situation, taking into account the following recommendations may be useful to improve your experience this year:
Give space to your emotionality: be it because you have suffered a loss, or it stresses you to be in contact with too many people, give yourself space to process what you feel. Do not deny yourself, do not trivialize or invalidate your experience with mental phrases such as “you should be happy”, “it is not so bad” or worse … Talk to yourself with respect and kindness. Observe and accept your emotion. From there you can really transform it. Yes, for example, you suffer for a person who is gone, do not punish yourself, take an afternoon to think about her, mourn her, write to her and tell her what you are going to miss her. Then we don’t just stand there gloating eh! Once taken care of, it will be easier to transcend that sadness and live the holidays with the memory of that person present without the emotion preventing you from enjoying yourself.
Respect your limits, from compassion and empathy: obviously we are going to have to find a middle ground, in which we can attend to the needs of our loved ones without neglecting our own. Obviously, depending on your specific situation, you have the right to, for example, not go to family meals. If you decide to go, be nice to others and to yourself. It does not mean that you should allow everything. You can decide not to talk about certain topics or not to answer certain questions, not to react to provocations to enter into conflict. Decide how and when, for how long. Don’t worry about being judged, you are the only person to whom you should be held accountable.
Act according to your values: the way you celebrate, buy, educate, experience, has to respond to your own values and beliefs. Do not let anyone decide for you, or manipulate you to make you believe that things should be a certain way. If you want to buy 1,000 gifts or none, for example, you must respond to what matters to you, not what others expect you to do.
Be firm with your decisions and respectful of those of others: today there is a lot of diversity in our society and not everyone views traditions in the same way. From the amount of gifts to buy, the type and amount of food, how to explain the different events … it may be that other people in your family have decided to transmit it to their children in a different way, or perhaps it is you, and it is difficult that the rest understand and accept it. Be firm and respectful at the same time, and give what you hope to receive. To those who share the festivities with you, convey clearly but with kindness that to share the spaces it is necessary that they do not impose their way of living the festivity. And that if you have decided not to eat meat, for example, it will not be possible to eat the traditional leg of lamb, and we will have to look for new traditions that integrate the different ways of living.
Do not expect it to be perfect: surely there are unforeseen events, problems, misunderstandings. accept it beforehand, and be prepared to find solutions from calm.
Disconnect from social networks: the great circus of the networks does not give an idyllic image of realities that are not. That can arouse feelings of frustration, envy, sadness … live your life without comparing it to anyone’s and have your best parties possible.
Give yourself some time just for yourself: in the midst of so much commitment, shopping, rushing, bingeing and business dinners, give yourself some time to rest.