I was hoping you might be able to give me a steer on the following: basically, I find Christmas really stressful and I honestly dread this time of year! I never really admit that to anyone because I feel like they’ll think I’m weird if I do.
I know some people will read this and say this is such a ‘first-world problem’, but I guess it’s just how I feel
All of my friends and family are getting into the Christmas spirit just about now and are in flying form, when I just find myself up the wall. Work gets really busy this time of year; then add in trying to do Christmas shopping, get around to seeing everyone and look half presentable, and I just find myself feeling so overwhelmed.
I know some people will read this and say this is such a ‘first-world problem’, but I guess it’s just how I feel.
I wouldn’t be the most organised person in the world, so often I find myself struggling to get on top of things in December. I look at people who have Christmas organised by the end of November with absolutely envy.
I really don’t want to feel this way. I want to enjoy Christmas more
To be honest, once Christmas Day actually comes I find myself relaxing and enjoying myself. It’s just the run up to Christmas when things are very hectic that I struggle with.
Miriam, I really don’t want to feel this way. I want to enjoy Christmas more and not be such a Grinch.
Have you any advice?
Dear Bah Humbug,
Thank you very much for getting in touch. I would like to start by letting you know that contrary to popular belief, many people do not find Christmas the most ‘happy-clappy’ time of year, and that is for a variety of different reasons.
Some like yourself find the whole thing overwhelming, others are missing loved ones and then with Christmas and New Year being a time for reflection, there are those who find they are not actually happy with their current life situation.
My point in telling you this is to let you know that you are not alone, many people out there feel similarly to you. You do not have to love Christmas and this doesn’t make you abnormal in anyway.
A portion of your stress is coming from how you feel others will feel about you not liking Christmas. So take that out of the mix straight away
I think once you accept this you will feel much better about the situation. A portion of your stress is coming from how you feel others will feel about you not liking Christmas. So take that out of the mix straight away.
Secondly – and again many people, including my good self, fall privy to this – you are probably putting too much pressure on yourself. In this modern world we live in, I would dare to propose that Christmas has become a bit too commercialised. There is a lot of pressure on people to make sure they have bought the correct presents, have the right look and see X,Y and Z friends.
Of course, there are practical things you can do like making lists of what you need to do, that will also be helpful
If you can, try and take all that pressure off yourself. You can only do what you can do. Simplify your gift buying, wear what you have and whoever you see, you will see. Just stay in the moment and focus on what is in front of you, the task at hand. Everything will come together.
Of course, there are practical things you can do like making lists of what you need to do, that will also be helpful. But I do feel, as I have outlined above, that taking all the pressure associated with Christmas off yourself, will be the biggest help of all.
Who knows, with that done, maybe you will begin to enjoy Christmas a bit earlier this year.
Wishing you all the best,