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You might enjoy Christmas, have mixed feelings or maybe you are relatively indifferent; you could be someone who doesn’t celebrate Christmas.  Some people have negative feelings surrounding the ‘Season to be Jolly’.

Do you ever feel stressed up to and over Christmas?

I sometimes cringe when people ask me whether I’m ready for Christmas, even though there are things about it I love. 

The "perfect" Christmas dinner.

Expectations surrounding it seem to be high and fuelled by TV ads showing smiling families, falling snow, ‘perfect’ Christmas tables laden with tempting food and sparkling, tasteful decorations.   Real-life ‘they ain’t’.   These fantasy worlds are there to persuade us we need to invest in a product and buy something.  Some people feel lonely and vulnerable over Christmas, others dread the expense whereas some of us look forward to it or have mixed feelings. 

Some of us may feel we need to be helpful and kind over the Season – that’s a great sentiment, but not if our interpretation is ‘we must help anyone who asks us’.   This can pressurise us in doing more than we can afford or manage.   We need time to recharge ourselves if we are going to give to others.  Indeed, sometimes saying ‘no’ can be the best thing we do for people! For example, a child who is never told ‘no’ grows up more unhappy due to a lack of boundaries than a child who experiences loving discipline. 

Image of the word "NO"

Giving ourselves time and space is as important as giving to others; balance is a principle of life that in my experience brings harmony even when life gets very busy and pressurised.   Some of us feel that spiritual aspects of Christmas supersede any material present we can ever give or receive. Reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas has become more significant and precious to me over the years. 

My top tips for dealing with Christmas issues are:

  1. Be realistic about expectations – don’t expect too much over the season – the nature of life is not perfect – sometimes unexpected events which annoy turn out to be rewarding
  2. Take time for yourself as well as being kind and giving to others
  3. Reflect on the true purpose of the Christmas Season – work towards a balance of activities, e.g., physical activity, spending time with others, resting, ‘me time‘, and spiritual awareness. 
  4. If you are experiencing a sense of loss/vulnerability, try to give time to think it through if that helps, and give self-care e.g., small treats, being kind to yourself by doing things that might help make you feel better. 
Picture of Christmas presents under the tree.
Rachel Honeyford

I work by providing a safe, confidential space where people can bring their feelings and thoughts and work at their own pace. My aim is to be supportive and compassionate while helping people see aspects of their situation they haven't already considered. I aim to adapt my approach to every unique individual's particular wishes, needs and circumstances. For example, I offer the opportunity to work creatively and/or look at past experiences or how someone thinks and feels in 'the here and now'.

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