How to Cope with Christmas When You Don’t Feel Festive

Christmas seems to have snuck up on me this year. One minute we were at the end of a long, hot summer and the next we were putting up the Christmas tree. I’ve still got a list of presents to buy and food to organise. Usually I’d be watching Christmas movies and revelling in every second of pre-Christmas activity but this year I’m struggling to get my head in the game. All the prep feels like a chore, I can’t be arsed to put my usual effort in to selecting the perfect gifts for loved ones and I can’t seem to feel festive no matter how hard I try.

It’s been a long, hard year full of more chaos in the world and doom and gloom on the news. I’ve worked my arse off in the office and suffered through ups and downs. I’m tired, like bone weary tired. The thing I’m looking forward to most about Christmas this year is the time off from work!

I know I’m not alone in failing to find the festive cheer this year – anyone can find themselves suffering with the holiday blues. It’s not helped by the fact that the Christmas season is traditionally the time of year when all of our good intentions like healthy eating, watching our spending and exercising regularly are thrown out the window. Instead we tend to overindulge ourselves with our favourite seasonal snacks and drink far too much booze as we try to avoid looking at our bank balance.

Christmas can end up feeling more stressful than joyful and you can easily find yourself thinking that you’re missing out on the magic of the season. If you’re already feeling exhausted and have a packed holiday schedule ahead of you, it’s easy to understand why you’re feeling more bah humbug than usual. We often tend to put a high expectation on trying to create the perfect happy Christmas as well and can easily become disillusioned if things are not working out the way that we had imagined.

In today’s blog, I’m going to share a few suggestions to help you overcome and manage your lack of festive cheer. You don’t have to feel festive if you don’t want to but trying these tips should help to put a smile on your face just in time for Santa to arrive:-

  • Get Off Social Media – “Don’t compare your insides to other people’s outsides,” said the author and doctor John Sharp. Those picture perfect Christmases you see people post on Instagram are just that – pictures! Most of them are probably staged anyway. Social media has the power to make you feel like you’re the only person in the world not having a good time or a good Christmas when that really isn’t the case. Seeing your friends posting about fun festive activities can also make you feel FOMO and get caught up in a cycle of negativity as you don’t perceive that you’re doing enough with your life. To avoid this feeling, organise seeing some friends on your own terms and meet up with people in real life to help alleviate that feeling that you’re missing out.
  • Be Kind to Others – Being kind to others and helping those in need can give you a sense of accomplishment and help you to feel better about yourself. Breaking from your usual routine and doing something for a good cause can help to give you a new perspective on the holidays. Babysit for a friend, volunteer at your local RSPCA centre or donate items to your local food bank. There are plenty of people who need help in the world, especially at Christmas.
  • Be Proactive – Rather than getting stressed out about having to attend big festive gatherings of friends and family, get proactive and be the one to do the inviting instead. This will give you more of a sense of control over the festive period and get you doing more of the things you want to do rather than the things you think you have to do
  • Set a Goal for the New Year – According to John Sharp, setting a goal that is focused on health, fitness or nutrition, such as cooking or trying a new type of exercise, can actually help in times of stress, even when it is not the holidays. Accomplishing new tasks and learning new skills or improving on something you think you could get better at will help you to gain a sense of pride and accomplishment. “If you sample adults, it turns out there’s [only] a small percentage of people who love the holidays,” said Sharp. “Most people find them stressful.”

I hope that the above suggestions help you to find your smile over the festive period or if not, at least survive it. Feeling festive is not a pre-requisite for Christmas, all that matters is that you look after your needs, get some rest and don’t compare yourself to others. Do Christmas your way.


%d bloggers like this: