The festive season is officially here! You just need to see your Christmas obsessed neighbour who lit up his entire house, the mince pies on sale at Tesco or the drunk Santas all around town. Joke apart, I am a sucker for lights and decorations and quite enjoy the festive season.
The festive season can be a bag of mixed feelings. Many people will have to put up with their dreadful in-laws and fake smile through a disgusting dinner where the meat is so dry and hard, you wouldn't notice if you had a piece of wood instead. Or, more tragically, your own family drives you up the wall and there is no escape. I have compiled some tips that will hopefully get you through to New Year’s Eve.
1. Stand up for yourself
Refuse to put up with other people’s issues any longer. You will gain years in your life expectancy because cortisol is no bueno for your body. Tell your toxic in-laws, overbearing uncle, or frenemies that you will not be putting up with their crap any longer and create your own traditions. Also, the strikes could be a perfect excuse! Thank you, Mr Lynch (I support the strikes 1000% by the way - blame the government, not the unions).
2. Avoid the comparison game at all costs
Don't believe the friends that always seem to have it together. That's a lie! In fact, do not compare yourself to anyone. People only share what they want the world to see. Couples fight like crazy during the festive season, but you wouldn't know about it. Many of the people I know who got divorced would say they never argue (at least in front of us). In fact, my psychologist friend said that couples who never argue have checked out of the relationship or were never truly invested in the first place so nothing to envy there.
3. Please pleasing is a lethal business
Let go of the desire to please people. I have my own theory on people pleasers. I honestly believe that they are secret killers (obviously I am joking - or am I?). How could you take so much shit for so long and not snap? Scary. Don't be one. Express your needs and wants. You will feel so much lighter and people who truly deserve to be around you will accept your boundaries and if they don't then bye bye.
4. Connect with your community
If you have no plans but don’t like being alone then the best plan is to volunteer. You will meet some truly wonderful human beings. I met some of my best friends whilst volunteering during the festive season. Giving back is the ultimate fulfilment, I know I know cheesy but oh so true!
What you see on social media is never the full truth and that’s ok. Not everyone wants to share their dramas or health issues, social media could be their escape and we need to take it as such - entertainment, not a reality we need to measure ourselves against. The best Christmas I spent was alone eating a feast I ordered in and watching French movies all night. No headaches, just pure bliss.
5. Reach out to friends
There is no shame in reaching out, and loneliness is such an epidemic chances are the person you will reach out to might feel lonely. Being surrounded by people doesn’t mean you are not lonely so reach out. I have never regretted reaching out, and even if the person doesn’t respond you will still never regret that you did.
Wishing you a peaceful and healthy festive season.