While it’s a time of celebration for some, Christmas can be an unhappy time for others. This can be due to previous trauma that occurred around this time, money problems or high expectations.
It can leave some people feeling so down that it affects the way in which they participate in the holiday season. If this sounds familiar, there are a few strategies you can use to turn these feelings around.
Tips to help you cope if you get the holiday blues
Take care of yourself
Ensure you know the ways in which you enjoy taking care of yourself. As mums, we quite often put our wellbeing last without realising how central we are to the family unit.
So in the spirit of Christmas, try a ‘self-care advent calendar’ where you write down when and how you will give yourself a treat every day in December. Put it up on the fridge or send it to family members so you are held accountable for completing each self-care activity. It doesn’t have to be expensive or big but it should involve asking your partner, family or friends to watch the kids for an hour or two!
The goal is to carve out some time to pay attention to yourself and to be mindful of where your head is at and how that makes you feel.
When the silly season approaches and you’re running around trying to buy presents within your budget and plan, shop and cook a Christmas meal, it’s inevitable that stress levels increase. It’s this culmination of tiny details that can sometimes cause you to explode or breakdown.
Be mindful about these emotions and when you feel them arise, stop and give yourself permission to breathe. This is the perfect time to check in on that self-care advent calendar. Whether it’s taking a hot bath, going for a movie or a walk, do something that makes you feel happy.
It’s time to grieve
If in the past, Christmas was when you lost a loved one or had a relationship break down, now is the perfect time to talk to someone about what you’re going through mentally and emotionally. You don’t have to relive the feelings of your trauma alone – try reaching out to support groups, family or friends.
If you are unable to reach out to anyone, try instead to turn this grief you feel around and give back – perhaps volunteer at your local children’s hospital or nursing home.