So the lights are on, the shops are packed and the Christmas songs have been on repeat everywhere you go, for weeks. Christmas can be a wonderful time of year for most…but not for all of us.
We all have our reasons for why Christmas might not be the “most wonderful time of the year” for everyone.
Whether it’s due to illness, bereavement, or bad memories, the holidays aren’t for everyone.
But don’t fret! We’ve come up with some sure-fire ways for you to take your mind off the festive period and try to make this time a little happier than it normally is.
Don’t put pressure on yourself
Christmas can feel like a very pressure-packed time, that we have to plaster a smile on our faces and join in the festivities. We think we have to be happy 24/7 and get on with things. We have to tell you- Don’t put pressure on yourself! Not everyone loves this time of year and it’s ok! You don’t owe anyone anything and you don’t need to act a certain way to make others happy. Take a breath and relax your mind until you feel the pressure lift.
Take time out for yourself
If you’re with family during the holidays, you’ll probably have to join in a few festivities like Christmas dinner and exchanging presents. But when you get to chance, you should take some time out for yourself. Take a nap, take a 15 minute TikTok break or even offer to do the washing up and put your headphones on and listen to your favourite playlist or podcast.
A problem shared, is a problem halved
As corny as this saying is, it’s true! Once you get things off your chest, you’ll feel a huge weight lifted from it. Whether it’s your parents, fave cousin or auntie, or your bestie, a good old chinwag over a hot cup of something yummy will always make you feel better.
Do something nice for yourself
Keeping up with your self-care on a regular basis is a must. It’s especially important to take some time out and do things for yourself when you get the chance. Read your favourite book on Christmas eve, play a video game while everyone is passed out on the couch. We think that when you look good, you feel good, so maybe try a cute red lip on Christmas day? Treat yourself to a hair mask and give yourself a manicure with your favourite movie on in the background!
Do something for someone else
By doing things for other people can be so rewarding. Giving gifts is so run of the mill and traditional. Think outside the box for how you want to help people. Offer to babysit the little ones in your family so the grown-ups can go out on a date, help your nana do her shopping or do a few extra chores around the house for your parents. Or maybe you’d like to look a little farther-a-field? Raise money for charity, make a donation or maybe volunteer at a food bank? You’ll feel so good knowing that you helped someone, especially if they also don’t love this time of year.
Get out of the house
Sometimes, a walk is just what you need, even if you feel like it’s the last thing you want to do. Once you wrap up well and put on a playlist or podcast, you’ll find yourself feeling better. Even if you don’t get the happy endorphins, you will feel lighter after working off your anxieties.
There’s just something about having a good scrub that makes us feel better. Whether it’s a nice long soak in the dub or a long, hot shower with all your favourite products, it can help you feel amazing! Get out your good hair mask, the nice body scrub, and have a nice body lotion at the ready so you feel silky smooth. Scrub your troubles away and slip into some cozy PJs after for ultimate relaxation.
Stick on an oldie goldie
There’s just something comforting about watching the same things over and over again. It’s something to do with knowing what’s going to happen. While you’re doing some self-care or if you’re all warm and cozy after your Big Scrub, pop on your favorite show or movie and let your troubles melt away.
Even if you’re not the most skilled artist, doing something creative can make you feel better and give you a sense of accomplishment. Paint, sketch, edit some photos, make TikToks, or even get one of those colour by number apps. Share your finished project with friends and get that warm feeling from your head to your toes.
If you don’t have that much time to yourself over the Christmas holidays due to family obligations, plan ahead for something you might want to do. Sign up for a night class, buy tickets for a gig or plan a trip with your bestie. Having something to look forward to, big or small, can keep us going, helping us get through a tough time.
By Sadhbh Pearse