‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’ is what we’ve been hearing about Christmas since we were kids. Although for many is indeed the most wonderful time of the year, for others it’s not and that’s okay.
Life is too complex and unpredictable to ever guarantee the conventional depiction of an ideal Christmas. We face a lot of challenges throughout our journey, and life doesn’t just stop because it’s Christmas.
On top of that, 2020 has been a roller-coaster year for most of us, and we must keep in mind that recovery might take some time.
For those of us dealing with a difficult event, feelings of grief and sadness are often intensified during the festive period, making us feel a lot lonelier than other time. That’s why it’s important to know how to support ourselves during those times and how we can also be there for others who go though hard times.
Give yourself what you need
If this Christmas won’t be for you the most wonderful time of the year because you’ve just lost someone you love, got made redundant, experience a mental or physical illness, or for whatever other reason you feel lonelier than any other time, remember there’s nothing wrong with you.
What’s wrong is the social expectation that all of us should be and act the same or need and want the same things no matter what’s going on in our lives.
So, give yourself what you need, whether its space and alone time, rest and sleep, watching Netflix for 3 days in a row or anything else your soul needs.
Trust your inner guide (it’s always there) and don’t forget that all experiences are temporary, including what you’re going through now no matter how hard it is to imagine your life out of it.
Honour your personal journey
I’ve had Christmases when I grieved my mum’s death, when my anxiety was at peak and didn’t want to go out, others when I spent it by myself and others when I pretended I was happy but I was miserable. I’ve had great Christmases too.
During this time of the year, many of us feel the need to put on a ‘happy face’, so that we don’t make others uncomfortable by showing how we truly feel. The truth is we don’t owe anyone a ‘happy face’ and our first priority should be our well-being. Sometimes, what we need is to just be cocooned and take time away from everyone and everything in order to heal.
Everyone is on their own personal journey so try not compare where you are right now to where others are (or often where they show they are) because it’s very unfair to you.
Life is full of ups and downs, and no situation lasts forever, and this includes our emotional states.
Honour your own personal journey and remember that even if this Christmas is far from ideal, it doesn’t mean that all Christmases will be the same.
At the end of the day, remember that everyone’s life is messy and imperfect, and this rarely changes at Christmas.
Give yourself (and others) the gift of compassion
During hard times, compassion for ourselves is what keeps us going and can help us overcome any challenge. Compassion isn’t passive – it’s an act of love and requires intentionality.
The minute you start acknowledging your grief, sadness, and distress, this will be marked as the beginning of your self-love journey. Sincerely enjoy good times in life and unconditionally accept yourself during the hardest times. Be kind to yourself and I promise that the uncomfortable feelings won’t last forever.
One of the biggest missions as human beings is trying to mend each other’s pain with our genuine compassion and care. We should respect other people’s emotions and be willing to support them in the best way possible, without trying to control how they feel.
Let’s not forget that we all go through different journeys and, sometimes, the best Christmas gift is to let people be in their feelings without judgement.
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