In my previous blogs about surviving the Christmas period I have discussed several ways in which you can reduce, defuse and even avoid rising tensions. This week we look at Christmas on your own terms.
Do you find yourself thinking you’d just like to stay home for Christmas and leave the rest of the family to it?
Or maybe you’d rather just disappear on your own and leave everybody else to it?
Well why not?
It’s your Christmas too right?
Here are some things to consider if you would rather just do Christmas on you own terms
- What will the fall out look like? If you have always attended the family Christmas and suddenly say that this year you’d rather not, how will the other members of your family react? It’s important to recognise that there may be some negativity and to weigh up whether the people who will be most aggrieved by your absence will be able to eventually see things from your perspective and let it go. If others may become extremely upset by you wanting to do Christmas on your own terms, the next question to ask is whether spending Christmas on your own is worth the fall out. Only you can really decide what is the best way forward for you, spend Christmas on your own and deal with potential break down of family relationships or, do Christmas like you have always done because it’s not as bad as months of possible upset that would follow if you are absent.
- Make sure your reasons have good intentions. If you are staying away from the family Christmas because you know it will bother someone and you want to see them suffer, you may want to consider why you feel so strongly about it and seek help to talk it through. Not attending the family Christmas to spite someone will probably just make whatever issues there are much worse, not better. The reason to stay away should be based on how much better it will make you feel. Good intentions for yourself are the key here. When you come to tell others the reasons why you would rather be with friends, alone and/or at home this year (although explaining yourself is not compulsory; see the next point), knowing you are doing it for yourself and being okay with that will make the conversation much easier.
- Full explanations are not compulsory! It is perfectly okay to choose to do Christmas on your own terms. If it will make you less anxious, stressed and just generally happier than you have nothing to feel bad about. When we do things that we feel others might not like or approve of, we have a tendency to feel the need to explain ourselves. Explanations are sometimes necessary, but they are not compulsory. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone (unless they are an officer of the law). It is important to feel completely comfortable with your decision and then choose if, how and when you might explain your reasons.
- Time to yourself is never time wasted. Spending time on your own, whatever the time of year, is time well spent. Whether you choose to relax in front of the TV, go for a walk, journal, reflect on your day or any number of other things you might enjoy doing, spending time alone can be a very positive thing.
- Do what makes you happy! Taking care of other people’s needs before your own is commendable, but it can become a burden. When you take care of yourself first you have so much more energy and positivity to pass to those you love. If you neglect your own needs in favour of the needs of others you can become burnt out and overwhelmed which, in the end, will leave you unable to help special people in your life. Regardless of your beliefs, Christmas is a great time to think about some rest, relaxation and reflection on how you can improve your own well-being in the coming year and you are entitled to spend it in a way that suits you best.
Next time I will talk about Christmas for blended families.
Remember that here I am discussing general tensions, raised frustrations and anger at a low level. If you are experiencing any kind of physical, mental, sexual, financial or other type of abuse, I have included contact numbers below, please reach out for help if it is safe to do so.
If this has resonated with you and you would like to know more about how I can help you overcome the stresses and tensions Christmas brings book a free session here
In the meantime keep in touch!
You can do that here:-
HERE ARE SOME NUMBERS OF CHARITIES THAT CAN HELP IF YOU NEED THEM
Men’s Advice Line: 0808 801 0327 (Mon-Fri 10am-1pm and 2pm to 5pm)
SAMARITANS: 116 123 (freephone 24 HRS)
Victim Support: 0808 168 9111
National Centre for Domestic Violence (NCDV): 0800 970 2070 OR Text “NCDV” to 60777 and they’ll call you back
National Domestic Violence helpline: 0808 200 0247 (24hours)
Refuge: 0808 200 0247 (24hours)
Women’s Aid: 0808 200 0247 (24 hours)
National Stalking Helpline: 0808 802 0300 (Mon-Fri 9.30am to 4pm)