Coping With The Darker Side of Christmas

November 26, 2017

Well, here we are! Only 31 sleeps until Christmas. For some of us, it’s merely a matter of checking names off our Christmas card list and making sure that the winter weather doesn’t take too much of a toll on our skin. It’s a time of year when we can let our hair down and reconnect with friends, family and loved ones. It’s the season of cheer and goodwill. Except when it isn’t.

As wonderful and magical as Christmas can be, it can also be a particularly bleak time of year for many of us. The relentless pressure from angles to have fun and enjoy ourselves certainly doesn’t help either. The advent of social media has compounded matters. Seeing others joyful and happy around Christmas is tricky enough, but when there are no escaping images of happy smiling people, from work colleagues to admired celebrities) on your Facebook and Instagram feeds, it can all get a little much. Here we’ll look at ways in which the festive season can lead to some feeling far from merry and how you can combat it to get the most out of season.

When you’re broke

Struggling by on a limited budget is a fairly common situation for most teens and twenty-somethings but the pressures on us to spend money over the Christmas period can become overwhelming.

The truth is, however cheesy it may seem, that you can have a wonderful Christmas without spending a fortune. All that matters is being close to the people that love you. The influential people in your life will take being with you and being able to talk to you about a flashy and expensive present any day. Make gifts where you can (people will really appreciate the effort), and be honest with people about your financial situation. You may just find yourself setting an excellent example for others in the same position.

When you’re separated from family

If you’re isolated from friends and family, or if you’ve lost someone close to you, Christmas can really twist the knife. Sometimes, you find yourself separated from your loved ones, do what you can to connect with them in the run-up to Christmas. If you have elderly relatives in a care home like the ones seen here, schedule a visit with them to let them know they’re loved. If you cannot do this, try to arrange a Skype chat with them via another family member or a member of care home staff.

Maybe you’ve lost relatives, it may be cathartic to visit their place of burial or interment. Don’t be afraid to talk to them and tell them how much you love and miss them. You might feel much better for the experience.  

When you’re feeling blue

Many of us find ourselves affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, around this time of year. This seasonal form of depression can be a real impediment to getting into the Christmas spirit as well as sapping our energy and making us feel cranky and lethargic. As hard as it can be to pry yourself out of bed on a cold, dark morning the best remedy for this is to start the day with a run or a visit to the gym. This will fill your brain with natural antidepressants and get your day off to a great start. Loading your diet with foods that naturally combat depression can also be a great help.

Merry Christmas!


Hope x

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