Social media has made this even harder, having to look at pictures of happy families and christmas trees everywhere, whilst you may be silently screaming that you don’t want to decorate a tree, send cards or ‘count the sleeps’ and what you really want is to go to bed with a big bottle of merlot and wake up when it’s all over.
So whilst that is an option, life is short, we only get so many Christmases and whether it’s going to be perfect or tough it’s a good idea to work out some strategies to make the most of the festive season.
1. Change your focus.
Firstly, always remember that although we can’t control what happens to us in life, we can control how we react to it. If you want to focus on what you’ve lost, you’re probably in for a fairly miserable time, however, if you switch your focus to what you actually have you’ll feel your energy shift. Be thankful for all the amazing things you have in your life and appreciate the fact that you are still here to experience the greatest gift of all…life itself. Make a list of all the things you have to be grateful for and keep focussing on that every time a sad thought comes into your head.
2. Get Selfish.
I know it might seem contradiction, being that it’s the season of goodwill and everything, but if Christmas is going to be hard this year at least try and make it work for you. If you’re usually forced to spend the day with relatives you really don’t want to see or make you feel bad about yourself, then don’t. Your time is precious, spend it with those you love and who genuinely love you.
3. Change it up.
If you always do the same thing every year, change it, otherwise you risk sitting around looking at that one empty chair and the loss is magnified even more. If everyone normally comes to you, go to them, or go out, just make it different. The same goes for decorations and cards. Decorations hold a lot of sentimental value, if it’s too tough to use the same ones, get new ones, go for something different, get a different type of tree, but make it a positive choice. If you can’t face writing cards, tell everyone you’re not sending them this year and make a contribution to a charity instead.
4. Control your expectations.
Don’t expect to have the perfect Christmas, but don’t expect to have the worst one either. We tend to get back what we give out, so go into the whole thing with optimism and an open mind, you never know you might enjoy yourself after all.
Finally, remember you’re not alone, whilst it may be a cliché remember there is always someone worse off than you and if none of that works... there’s always the merlot!