Be Your Own Version of Happy During the Holidays
There are Two Kinds of Christmas People
You may have begun seeing Christmas commercials while unwrapping Halloween candy that has yet to go stale. Holiday shopping, music, movies, and atmosphere can take over all of November and stomp over Thanksgiving. After all the build-up, December is finally here, almost nose to nose with the Christmas holiday.
Perhaps you have accepted every holiday party that has come your way. You might have attended bonfires, dinner parties, gift exchanges, and virtual Christmas movie nights. Maybe you dedicate the majority of December to everything Christmas. Christmas shopping, Christmas cards, Christmas gifting, baking, and creating. The activity list is endless, and you may enjoy every sparkling second.
When planning your Christmas activity extravaganza, you may visualize warm pajamas on the couch, preferably with no one around and cell phones turned on silent. On Christmas Day, you might make a traditional holiday dinner, go to a friend's or family's get-together, or see what door dash is delivering.
You might be one of the people who finds joy in every minute of the twenty-four-hour marathon of A Christmas Story. It is possible that you might be a person who calls everyone who matters to you first thing Christmas morning so you can enjoy the rest of your day in peace. However, you might just be trying to make it through the holidays with your sanity intact.
No version is wrong. Commercials and retail stores would have you believe the Christmas holiday is about finding the perfect gift or getting the biggest stack of gifts. Maybe giving and getting brings you joy, or maybe it brings you stress. Again, neither of those things is wrong, it simply means that people have different interpretations of Christmastime happiness.
The personal meaning of Christmas differs for every human being. While some root their purpose in tradition and religion, you might root your sense of Christmas in how you choose to spend it, or vice versa. The meaning can be fluid and shift from year to year.
Healthy and Not-So-Healthy Things That Can Happen
How you celebrate this holiday is entirely up to you. Do not let anyone tell you any different. You can use this time to catch up with relatives and friends you do not see or talk to often. You can donate your time or money to a charity that helps people less fortunate around Christmas. You can keep your holiday celebrations small and intimate or go all out. You are allowed to celebrate in whatever way that makes you happy.
It is worth mentioning that the holidays may be a challenging time for you. This is a time when you may be in a giving spirit, but it can also be a hard time when you have to remember someone who has passed away or is overseas. It is a time when things are merry and bright, but it might also be a time when you dread having to be around people who have caused trauma in your life.
If you find yourself having to put up a good front while secretly struggling with sadness and depression, you may self-medicate behind closed doors with drugs or alcohol. The feeling of sadness is masked with holiday cheer, but they manifest into negative behaviors.
The pressure to spend, spend, spend on gifts and experiences may be incredibly stressful for you. If this is something you struggle with, do not worry. You are not alone, and there are ways to participate in the giving spirit of this time without breaking the bank.
DIY the Holidays
If you feel you do not have enough money to get the gifts you want, never fear, for DIY is here. The possibilities are endless. You can make things for people like blankets, candleholders, candles, and jewelry. Art is an excellent way to relieve stress and anxiety, can be cheaper than buying similar things, and will have a personal touch for whoever you are giving it to.
You do not have to make anything for anybody else. Instead, make things for yourself. You might surprise yourself or learn new avenues to express yourself and de-stress, or even learn something new about yourself.
Christmas Gatherings Aren't for Everyone
Sometimes, life events or mental illness make it difficult to enjoy the holiday season at all. When this happens, it is okay to ask for help. Christmastime has the potential to stir up memories that you thought were locked in the back of your mind. These memories can cause sadness that results in isolation and unhealthy coping mechanisms like drug and alcohol use. It is possible to experience sadness, anxiety, and depression because the holiday season can be hard to deal with.
Wanting to be alone during the holiday does not always mean you are depressed. Indulging in being alone during a holiday can be a form of self-care. There is a luxury in being able to put on a pair of fluffy pajamas and binge your favorite movies with your favorite snacks; if that is your vision of being happy, Merry Christmas to you.
The Christmas season can be a very challenging time both mentally and emotionally for a lot of people. In order to avoid the societal expectations and pressure to be merry and bright and spend lots of money, you might find yourself struggling to go out or find joy in the season. The good news is, your holidays don't have to look like a commercial on TV or meet the "perfect" ideal of Christmas to make it a happy time for you and yours. However you choose to celebrate the holidays is the best way for you. If you find yourself unable to find good cheer around this time of year due to mental illness or addiction, call Achieve Medical Center to get tips and treatment tailored to your needs. Our wonderful staff would like to help you with recovery so you can live your best life year around. Call (619) 376-6616.