You can ask almost anyone who knows me, and they will tell you Christmas time is my favourite of the entire year. From the Starbucks holiday drinks, to rewatching Home Alone for the hundredth time, I absolutely love everything about the holidays. It’s a time for laughter, cheer, happiness, and lots of love.
That being said, this time of year can be really hard, and it’s important to be sensitive to those around you. Here’s why the holidays can be hard for me:
- No more sun. It’s scientifically proven that peoples’ moods decline during this time of year due to the lack of sunlight. I have to use a sun therapy light every morning to help me get out of bed. Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) is a real thing for many people, and seasonal shifts in mood can be quite significant.
- Insecurities are heard loud and clear. “Did I pick the right present for them? Will they like it? What if they already have it? I chose a bad present. I hate choosing presents. Its like I don’t even know this person.” Some people get a lot of anxiety about buying and receiving presents. Appearance insecurities are also huge. The holidays are full of sweet treats and fatty foods that people love to comment on. Someone who struggles with body image issues could have a harder time with this.
- Crowds. I’m a fairly social person. I love Christmas parties, and I love the way the mall is decorated for the holidays. But, loud noises and crowds bother me. When there are people in every direction at a mall, or I have to navigate a busy, loud party, I can get quite overwhelmed. Many people who deal with anxiety do. In fact, almost every Christmas dinner I excuse myself for about half an hour to rest and rejuvenate so I can be social again. Unfortunately, this is a luxury that can only be afforded in certain circumstances. Don’t be afraid to take a few moments to collect yourself and relax for awhile. A little space from a situation can be really helpful. If you’re a host, don’t feel offended or make a big deal of it.
- Goodbyes. For someone who visits home for Christmas, the end of the holidays is always hard. You have to say bye to everyone, and you don’t know the next time you will see them. Maybe it’s a month, maybe longer, maybe until next Christmas. Family and friends are really important around the holidays, but it’s bittersweet knowing your fun times have a time limit on them.
In a (chest)nutshell, try to be more cognizant of the difficulties that can accompany one of the greatest times of the year. Some people find the holidays really tough, but everyone deserves to have the best holiday season they can. If everyone is a bit more sensitive about making sure their friends and family are comfortable, this time of year could be even more wonderful (even though I already think it’s the most wonderful). Happy Holidays to you and your families!
Keep Surviving by Living.