In the lead up to the Christmas holiday season you may start to feel the pressure of having the perfect day lined up. Yet your idea of a perfect Christmas quite often differs from what someone else envisions. Christmas means different things to each of us, and we should not expect that everyone wants the same thing.
The holiday season may also bring feelings of judgement that you and those around you should feel happy to celebrate Christmas. An expectation that society has cast upon you. Christmas opens up a mixed bag of emotions because not everyone feels like celebrating especially when other circumstances, the main one being financial stress, are going on in their lives.
Circumstances can leave you feeling sadness contrary to what society and media expectations are telling you – that you should feel happy. Your emotions become conflicted because you don’t want to show anyone you just don’t feel the Christmas spirit this year.
Conflicting emotions lead to feelings of stress, anxiety or depression. When you experience stress, your body tenses up and the brain cannot operate effectively.
Instead of doing what you think Christmas should be about, take it back to your core values. What do you want your Christmas holidays to mean? Who do you want to spend them with? Where do you want to spend them?
Have open and honest conversations with family and friends about what you want at Christmas. They may surprise you, but you will never know unless you start the discussion. You may need to negotiate a little, but having the conversation is a start to managing Christmas expectations.
Most importantly, take some time out for your own self-care to re-energise yourself after a big year of work and life. To help you get in some relaxation and ease your body tension, check out my new relaxation exercises you can download and listen to whenever you need a quiet moment to reset and refresh.