This time of year is meant to be filled with joy but not for all. This can actually be the hardest time of year for some. I would be lying if I said I’ve had the perfect Christmas each year. Last year on Christmas, I had a major episode that resulted in self-harm. I was feeling so overwhelmed with my life. A part of me thought it was post partum depression. I had just become a new mom, I had no job, no income, blew through my savings, and on top of that sleep deprivation. I felt so horrible feeling that way on Christmas. I felt like a horrible example for my son. Luckily for me, my mom offered to take him so that I can get myself together.
I decided to just go for a drive. I ended up in the mountains just looking at the scenery and taking in the fresh air while also sobbing on a bench. I decided to call one of my closest friends and she offered to come up to where I was and comfort me. She took the time out of her Christmas day to come and comfort me on a bench. I was so grateful to have a shoulder to cry on without any judgment. After she left, a stayed there a bit longer just to collect myself before going back home. That day ended up being better than I had expected. I cleaned myself up nicely and spent it with my family.
My day started horrible but I’m beyond happy I didn’t let it take away from seeing my son’s first Christmas. Below I’ve listed some tips that helped me get myself through the holiday season. Please keep in mind that everyone thinks and works differently so it may not be the same for everyone. These are just my tips and believe me I am no expert.
- Create realistic expectations for the holidays – All too often we have these wild expectations of what Christmas has to be like and we forget the true meaning of it. Sit down and think about what is possible for you and what matters before getting worked up.
- Accept comfort from friends and family if possible – It’s so easy to turn people away who want to help us. Either we are ashamed or just don’t want to be bothered but sometimes just a small interaction can change the day.
- Go outside and get some fresh air – Fresh air can be an instant relief. Being cooped up inside won’t help with your sanity. Speaking from experience.
- Don’t take on any more than you can handle – If you need to, make a schedule. Only do what you can. It’s okay to say no sometimes for your own good. Besides don’t we all deserve a little kickback time around the holidays?
- If that’s the case, ask for help – If you just so happen to need to do a million and one things, ask someone for help. It might be fun to have an extra hand.
- Step away from the screens – Online, on social media, and basically everything that involves a screen is showing/talking Christmas magic. That can be overwhelming for someone who has a hard time around the holidays. I always suggest just stepping away from the phone to prevent any triggers and to just get a break from it.
- Keep in mind that it’s gonna be alright – “This too shall pass.” It will. My therapist once explained to me that it’s just a wave. We will get over this wave.
Christmas is only 5 days away. How are you keeping it together? I’m kind of in disbelief that it’s in 5 days. I’m pretty much not prepared but that’s okay. I’m not going to stress myself out.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
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