We all accept Christmas to be a time of merriment and joy. Around us, we hear Christmas jingles, smell Thanksgiving turkey, see Christmas decor, feel the spirit the season gives. But often not talked about in the media is that this could also be a time of anxiety, depression, loneliness, or stress for many others. The picture-perfect idea of Christmas is a complete family who is able to celebrate the festivities luxuriously and together. Not everyone lives this picture of Christmas.
The season could even bring about intense feelings of grief for those who have just lost a loved one. Others feel isolated because they are away from their families. Some are experiencing financial troubles and could not afford the cost of the season. Others are in conflict with their loved ones they have to face at the dinner table.
People who go through these situations must not be judged because these bring about extreme stress and anxiety that in other situations, already require professional help.
We’re here to help guide you on what you could do when a therapist or counselor is not in the picture just yet.
Dealing with Financial Troubles
Your wallet may not be ready for the Christmas season. You might have lost a job or failed a business venture that you don’t have that much to survive Christmas and the many costs it could incur. We understand how overwhelmed you might be feeling but take it one step at a time in order to solve your financial woes one by one.
First, you need to list down what is causing your money problems. Once you’ve pinpointed the cause, devise a money-saving scheme to budget your spending. If buying gifts and attending social events is causing your wallet to bleed, reconsider how you are approaching these things. Don’t have the money to buy gifts? Choose the more practical gifts over the fancy ones. You may also personalize gifts on your standing desk instead of buying things that you can’t afford and maxing out your credit limit. If you can’t go out to dinners at expensive restaurants with your friends, organize BBQ parties yourself or ask everyone to have a potluck dinner at your home. What would matter is your presence in these reunions.
Easing Up the Family Tension
They say blood is thicker than water, and for many situations, it is true. You always favor family more than outsiders or even friends. But since you are closer to them and they know you to the core, problems, rifts, and fights get way more serious than arm wrestling with a friend.
When your parents are divorced and there’s a rivalry between you and your half-siblings, it’s most likely to add up to your Christmas anxiety. Anxiety is usually triggered by problems in the family and in relationships. This is why you should learn to set realistic expectations. If you have kids, set aside your adult fights so that they won’t associate the season with lonely days. Next is to moderate your drinking. Don’t drink too much because alcohol could make you more stressed, anxious, and depressed. Plus, don’t bring up past feuds with the family because it might just unravel a whole history of arguments.
You might have recently suffered the loss of a loved one or you feel isolated because you are in another country and can’t afford to go home. We understand and hear you out. What you can do is never forget to connect with your friends and family. We live in a digital age so even if there's physical distance that divides you at the moment, it won’t matter as long as you have a stable internet connection and some tools.
You may use a standing desk converter, a portable laptop docking station, or a monitor mount to make sure your gear captures your best angle. If you are going to spend hours talking to them over the phone on different days, you could always use an ergonomic chair from FlexiSpot for maximum comfort.
Another way to manage your loneliness is to volunteer. When you think about others, you think of your problems less. You pay it forward to the community and could even get more involved by attending community events. You could join carol-singing or visit local markets this Christmas season. Come Christmas Day, do simple things that would make you happy. Prepare a holiday-inspired breakfast, buy a gift for yourself a month in advance, attend mass, or walk in the park. Spend some time with your friends who are also away from their families and celebrate the holidays alone.
Prioritize your health
One way to reduce anxiety is to change stress-inducing behavior. To help you cope throughout the season, make sure you are drinking lots of water, getting the proper amount of sleep, eating healthy food, and exercising almost every day. When your body is in good health, your mental worries could also be addressed. Plus, these activities are mindful and would your attention away from those that are causing you sadness and anxiety.
The Christmas season may be overwhelming for some of us. For some, it could be the worst time of the year because they are forced to socialize. They might have had a rough career patch this year that they could not afford to buy gifts for the whole family and their friends. Then they go watch television, listen to the radio or read up on stuff online. But all these could be done in solitary confinement which often leads to feeling even sadder.
Don’t worry, anxiety can always be managed with a change in mindset, professional help, and support from the people around you. All the rest that people are saying online is just noise. Listen to your voice and to what your immediate circle tells you. Never ever be ashamed to ask for help from friends and other people. You do the same for them when they have a problem so relax and ask for help if needed.