Feeling... Not So Merry?
𝔸 𝕘𝕖𝕟𝕥𝕝𝕖 𝕣𝕖𝕞𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕖𝕣 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕚𝕥’𝕤 𝕠𝕜𝕒𝕪 𝕥𝕠 𝕟𝕠𝕥 𝕓𝕖 𝕠𝕜𝕒𝕪 𝕥𝕠𝕕𝕒𝕪.
Christmas is a challenging time for many; it’s a time that reminds us of those we’ve lost and during which many find themselves navigating strained (maybe even painful) relationships with family members. Despite this, many people feel pressured to maintain a positive, upbeat attitude during this difficult time, and may feel disheartened when this isn’t achieved. Flash forward to 2020 where we’re nearly a year into a global pandemic, over 1.7 million individuals have lost their lives and the entire world is grieving. Many people, myself included, will likely feel a range of emotions on Christmas day– sadness, anger, nostalgia, frustration, stress– you name it. The grief that we’ve all experienced on some level this year will likely only amplify these feelings. Here are some tips on how to make Christmas day a little more bearable this year:
1)Reach out to your support network.
On Christmas day, make a point of reaching out to the people who know you best and with whom you feel comfortable sharing difficult emotions. This will help you to feel validated and will also help to mitigate some of these difficult emotions by connecting with someone you care for and who cares for you.
2)Allow yourself time to reminisce and grieve.
Many of us have experienced grief at some level this year. Allow yourself time to remember and mourn those that you’ve lost, as well as the difficulties associated with this year. You may wish to do something to honour your loved ones on this day, such as lighting a candle or playing their favourite music. Christmas can also remind you of people you’ve lost with whom you had a complicated relationship or things were left unresolved at the time of their death. This is sometimes called complicated grief. You can read about healthy ways of processing complicated grief here: Processing Complicated Grief
3)Set your sights on what’s ahead.
This Christmas marks the end of what has been an extremely difficult year for many. Now more than ever, it’s important to look ahead to brighter days to come. While the current situation is ongoing, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel with the acquisition of a vaccine. I encourage you to spend some time thinking about what’s ahead this holiday season. Start planning something– a trip to visit an old friend, finding an online course in an area of interest, starting a new hobby– give yourself something to look forward to, no matter how small.
If you find yourself in a crisis this season, know that there are resources you can access for help:
Samaritans 24/7 Lifeline: 116 123
Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255