Firstly, we are not directing this at those who find Christmas a difficult time of year for reasons of isolation, or depression and anxiety for example. It can be a hard, and sometimes life-threatening time of year. If this sounds like you, then please do seek help now. There are wonderful charities out there who offer 24 hour support (such as Mind and The Samaritans for example).
But now we are speaking to those who might be, simply a ‘Christmas Grump’?
That’s ok, and you are entitled to feel that way. It can be overwhelming, but you might want to think about what made you a ‘Christmas Grump’. Usually there is a reason – either recent or back in your history- of being ‘made’ to feel the Christmas Spirit, or feeling you have to continue in a particular ritual without enjoying it. You may feel under an obligation to attend a regular event which evokes difficult memories. These are all Christmas Spirit killers and understandably so.
But it is possible to lift that grumpy mood. You might want to create your own ritual – one that is personal – and connects you to who you are rather than joining the ‘Christmas Mad Rush’. This might mean paying particular attention to what is important to you; seeing special friend(s) or spending time with one or two members of your family rather than all of them. Prepare a meal you enjoy, rather than feeling obliged to have turkey with all the trimmings, or create your own spiritual practise – meditation and or quiet time. Take time to read a book, or watch a film that interests you. Certainly you should never feel guilty about saying you need to spend time alone if that is what you really want.
This is a time for coming together with others, cementing or building relationships but it is also about coming back to yourself, understanding what is important and getting it right for you. In getting it right for you, it often gets it right for others too.
Anyone got other suggestions?