Christmas Stress & Anxiety: How To Cope During The Festive Period
Christmas can be a time of magic and wonder for children, but for some of us, the festive period can also be a time of Christmas stress and anxiety. This was amplified in the past by the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures that were put in place, affecting all of us, along with the uncertainty that future festive holidays may well be similar.
For many reasons, these people experience feelings of isolation, loss and bereavement, loneliness, financial pressures or increased family and work conflict that can make the Christmas period a very anxious, stressful and depressing time of year.
For these people, they may well feel very remote and lonely at Christmas.
This is a total contrast to how many of us see things at this time of year, for this is seen as a time when families get together to celebrate the holidays. For some, it can have religious meaning, bigger than just a commercial holiday.
Most of our Christmas expectations come with high expectations of perfect, happy families enjoying luxurious celebrations and gifts, a time to be with those you love and to kick back and relax. And enjoy.
My name is Marie Smith and I used to love going home to my family, there was lots of cleaning and preparing, lots of shopping and cooking, the kids would love to be fussed over and get presents.
Christmas was all about being together, thanksgiving for another year and family arguments. I miss it.
I’m sure these are the kind of memories many of us have and cherish, but for others, Christmas is not a time of joy and below could possibly be the cause for their Christmas stress.
Christmas sadness while coping with bereavement
Christmas Sadness & loss / Image: CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz / nwcatholic.org.
Christmas stress can be so difficult for people who are grieving over the loss of someone, especially if it’s the first Christmas without them. People get anxious and wonder how to get through it, mind you it can be hard to get through any day.
You may not want to celebrate, may not want to be around people, may not have anyone to be around, and the worry about possible Coronavirus lockdown restrictions in the past makes things even more difficult.
It must be very hard not to look back at happier times, there may be a wish to get it over with. It may be difficult to see that things can get a little better.
Christmas anxiety & depression with your family & relationships
Christmas Depression: Family & Relationships / Image: /unsplash.com.
Christmas can be such a loaded time, there is an expectation that you should be happy. If relationships are causing difficulty, or if they have recently broken down or if a family unit has disbanded, Christmas can then be a reminder of being alone, being lonely and failing in some capacity.
If people are really happy at Christmas; then it figures that if there has been heartbreak some people can have great pain and sadness and feel a sense of Christmas anxiety.
Spend-spend-SPEND! causes financial Pressure
Christmas Stress: Financial Pressure / Image: Pinterest.co.uk.
Some people struggle financially all through the year, they may wonder where the rent will come from, if there is enough to heat the house or where the money for food will come from.
At Christmas, there is the onset of commercial ads on television commencing from early November, offing millions of suggestions on how to spend your money.
We the public, especially the young, can be exploited to believe we need all this stuff and that Santa has a bottomless purse and sack.
This can cause endless pressure and worry for somebody who is already struggling. There can appear to be no way out of it and participating in a commercial Christmas is the only choice.
Social anxiety can turn into a Christmas stress nightmare
Christmas Panic: Social Pressure / Image: /unsplash.com.
Lots of us have moved away from our families only to be thrown together at Christmas, it may not take much time to return to the family dynamic of our youth.
Parents telling their adult children what to do and grown-up sibling rivalries flaring up, in-laws who can’t do the roasties or stuffing the way mum used to.
A time that is supposed to be a relaxing, magical one can turn into a Christmas stress nightmare with people wishing to go home.
It can be a wonderful season and many people will have the greatest time, but it may also be horrendous for people for whom these festive days are a trial, it can help to talk.
Talking can be to friends or family or it can be to a professional who will aim to help you find your path and to see your choices.
Stay strong. Stay safe. And we hope you all have a very Merry stress-free Christmas.