The assumption that Christmas holidays are the most wonderful time of the year could not be further from the truth. Sure, family comes together, and there is lots of food, laughter, and beautiful memories to be made until you come to the realisation that everything is not well and your stomach pits as your mood shifts and you can no longer enjoy.
Chances are, your expectations are too high and the reason for that is that we all have holiday traditions. We travel to the village after a whole year of absence, or we book that flight and go away on vacay or we host parties.
Whatever ritual you and your family have, it is almost like an unspoken rule that it must happen because it always does. But things change. If you are starting to feel overwhelmed about carrying out those repetitive activities year in, and year out, it is about time you respect how you feel.
Do not do things just because it is expected of you to do them. One of the best things you can do this holiday is to say no and set boundaries. There is a likelihood you could be dealing with exhaustion and burnout.
Or, you are simply broke. Give your finances a break this year, prioritise your personal time and use it to rest this year. Communicate to your loved ones about your current situation and hopefully, they will understand.
Another reason you may want to stay home this Christmas is that you do not want to be tempted by food. Special gatherings revolve around food. If you have an illness, a strict diet or an eating disorder you are battling, it will be hard to decline food when your well-intentioned grandmother offers.
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Watching your loved ones bury their faces in juicy steaks when you cannot will ruin your Christmas. And yes, you can spare yourself the agony by telling them about your situation.
That however may not be the easiest thing to do especially if you do not get along with certain family members and you want to keep your business to yourself. It may be best to avoid that party if you had a recent fallout or one of your family members is an energy vampire and you do not have the energy or patience to deal with them this year.
Stay home. This may be the best option but being alone may again trigger loneliness. You will find yourself regretting not having a good relationship with that family member or missing a loved one who is no longer there. If you are single, your emotions may also trigger sadness. Be kind to yourself and practice self-compassion.