Dealing With Stress Over Christmas

Tips to Revive the Christmas Spirit

 

Argh, Is It Really Christmas Again?

Don’t you wish for the days of being a kid at Christmas, refusing to go to bed because of the excitement of meeting Santa and his reindeers? Waking up at 5am on Christmas morning and racing to the Santa sacks or presents hidden under the tree?

To this day, I remember the wonder of finding ‘reindeer’ poo on our front lawn and imagining Santa and his big sleigh taking off from our yard. Later, when I was told the ‘truth about Santa’, I was informed that the poo was in fact “manure”, to great disappointment. Since then, Christmas has never felt as magical to me. Why? Because we grow into adults.

 

THE ADULT PERSPECTIVE OF CHRISTMAS 

Looking at Christmas through the eyes of a child is always vastly different to that of an adult. Where a child sees magic an adult sees the extra effort and pressure. Where the child sees joy and presents, the adult sees money flowing out the door, late nights and the difficulty of scheduling in that shopping in between school holidays and work. Where the child sees fun with cousins and endless piles of food, the adult sees difficult family members or coping with a holiday without loved ones.

Despite this, as adults, we consistently attempt to bring the joy of Christmas to the children around us, to put aside the reminders of the things we no longer have, the stresses of the time of year or the time that passed without a second thought. Sometimes though, this can be incredibly difficult and in addition to all other things happening.

 

Tips to revive Christmas Spirit

Let’s bring back a little Charles Dickens who wrote the novel ‘A Christmas Carol’ in an effort to revive the spirit of Christmas: family, goodwill and compassion. Make it your intention this Christmas to bring back the wonder from your childhood. Think about childhood traditions that you used to enjoy as a child and share it with your loved ones. For people adjusting to change at Christmas this year, perhaps it’s having the courage to invent new Christmas traditions.

Step back from the ‘need to please everyone’. We live in a modern family era: divorced parents and partners with divorced parents have us trying to be at 4 different family meals at once. Choose to take control over your Christmas and celebrate with people you love and add meaning and value to your life. This Christmas is an opportunity to think about ‘the spirit’ of Christmas in a community sense. Have you noticed that your elderly next door neighbour always spends Christmas alone? What might it feel like to invite him/her over for Christmas breakfast, and importantly what might it mean to them?

When thinking about gift giving, try stepping away from the need to get the perfect present, or feeling disappointed when you don’t receive the gift you were wishing for. If we buy and receive gifts with the attitude that someone has thought about us (even if we don’t particularly like the gift), I think that is rather special. And who’s kidding anyway, usually it’s the box and especially the bubble wrap which trumps the gift itself. Perhaps with all those unwanted gifts this year, think about ‘goodwill’ and perhaps donate that second pair of pink socks to someone in need.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone.

 

If you need some support to manage the difficulties associated with Christmas and to help you to get your Christmas Spirit back, give The Psych Professionals a call at our Loganholme practice on (07) 3801 1772 or at our Capalaba practice on (07) 3823 2230.

Originally written by Catherine Waight and revised by Chelsea Knight.