It’s that magical time of year. When anxieties run high, families bicker and the shops get so busy it’s suffocating. (thank god for online shopping!) Yes, it’s nearly time for Christmas.
Don’t get me wrong, I actually quite like Christmas, but I fully appreciate how triggering it can be. It doesn’t matter what mental health issues you face, this holiday season is full of potential worries and stresses.
So here’s how I try to keep a calm head;
- Don’t be afraid to say no.
You don’t need to go to every party. You don’t need to go to every meal. Allow yourself some nights in and some time to switch off. Its a high pressure time when we feel like we MUST go to every event, but in reality you really don’t need to.
- Do things your way
All being well, we will spend this Christmas morning waking up in the flat, eating pancakes (although Himself will have beans and eggs as always) before heading home to be with my family and then his. It’s as much your Christmas as it is everyone else’s. Eat whatever food you want, spend it wherever you want. Decorate the house as early or as late as you want. This year I’ve decorated my Christmas tree exactly how I want it.
- Try to remember that no one is perfect
It can be hard around Christmas time, when our social media is filled with photos of perfect presents, wrapping and glamorous night out selfies. But no one is perfect and not all of social media tells the full story. The girl with the perfect selfie might have hated her outfit, the couple with the #couplegoal presents might have spend the morning arguing. Don’t compare your Christmas to anyone else’s, as long as you enjoy yourself that’s all that matters.
- Find alcohol too triggering?
Then don’t be afraid to not have any, or to be careful with what you drink. I find alcohol either makes me feel great or makes me plummet back down to earth. So this Christmas I’ll be picking and choosing when I feel like drinking. Even when everyone else is drinking, you still don’t have too! It’s a special day for everyone, so if you don’t feel like it, or you know it will trigger you, forget about everyone else and do what will keep you happy.
- On your own? Or just don’t like Christmas?
That’s okay. Have you heard of Sarah Millicans #joinin ? Its a hashtag designed for those on their own or feeling low this Christmas. So whether you want someone to talk too or just want the comfort of knowing you’re not alone, take to twitter and join in with her and the hundreds of people in a similar position.
You don’t need to spend hundreds on presents or eat foods you don’t like. Look after yourself and make sure to fill your days with the things that make you happy. Put on a warming Christmas film (or Die Hard if that’s more your style) and grab a mince pie. Christmas is a day for all of us, so as long as you’re kind, you can spend it however you want, with whoever you want. Don’t be afraid to trim down the time spent with family who trigger you, or avoid certain foods/drinks.
When all’s said and done, I wish you a Merry Christmas, however you choose to spend it.