In the first part of this blog I explored the different experiences that a person may be going through that do not allow the individual to enjoy Christmas time. This blog offers some tips of how we can cope during a time where it seems as though we are the only ones who can’t feel merry.
- Do the basics
When we are going through a difficult time, it is important to try and stick to our usual routine such as; going to work, taking the dog for a walk, going to the gym, etc.. Sometimes we feel so overwhelmed and exhausted that we can’t even bring ourselves to do simple things, however, it’s important to try and achieve one small task after the other, as this helps to bring a sense of normality amidst the difficulties. If your routine shall change during this period due to vacation leave or your children’s school break, try to fill up your days with activities that you enjoy or help you unwind, such as; reading a book, cooking, allowing yourself to sleep in or to sleep late, watching a movie etc.. It might be good to avoid having high or unrealistic expectations though.
- Open up with someone you trust
Sometimes, having a chat with someone you trust and care about can help you feel like you’ve taken a heavy load off your chest. Sharing how you’re feeling will not make things go away, however, it can help put things into perspective and can help you feel loved and cared for. Spending time with a loved one can really lift our spirits and help us appreciate the good things in our life.
- Take charge of your social activities
During the Christmas period, we are usually invited to staff parties, Christmas drinks etc.. If you are aware that these activities bring more suffering than happiness, try not to overload your schedule with back to back events, and choose to attend only those events where you think you’d feel most comfortable. Attending an event might also mean going for a short while and not forcing yourself to stay for the whole duration of it. If on the other hand, you would like to socialise a bit more (as this may help take your mind off things) but are unsure about what to do, try to reach out and ask about any events or volunteer with organizations who would need help with the manning of such events during this period.
- Give yourself the gift of time
Sometimes, even though we try our best to take care of ourselves and to cope, what we’d really need to feel better is time. Time for things to pass, time for us to heal, time for us to be able to look forward to something new, time for us to acknowledge what is, time for us to be able to find solutions, time for us to find closure. There are experiences in life that may be healed with time but never really go away. This does not mean that you will not be able to move forward in life, but that you will always remember what you have been through and how it might have helped you to grow and be more resilient.
Claire Borg is a gestalt psychotherapist at Willingness. She works with adolescents and adults. She has a special interest in mental health. She can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 79291817.