If you think about Christmas with some concern, fear or even anguish, it is because you already know the effects that this Christmas season has on anxiety and depression. But this year Christmas is not going to be able to with us and we are going to keep calm, with our nerves locked up fewer than seven keys and with anxiety at bay.
To carry out our anti-anxiety plan at Christmas, the first thing we must do is a list with the key moments that generate the most anxiety on these dates. Moments, situations and reasons that can exacerbate anxiety disorders and that we are going to learn to handle little by little.
Anxiety at Christmas
More and more people do not understand this celebration of Christmas at the top when the general feeling is rejection of. If they have any meaning for childhood, most adults see Christmas as a time full of nerves, sadness, stress, anguish and anxiety.
The key dates of Christmas are especially auspicious for anxiety to make it felt strongly. Organize Christmas Eve dinner, choose, get gifts from Santa Claus and the Three Wise Men too, enjoy a special New Year’s Eve, start the year on the right foot, fulfill New Year’s resolutions. A lot of moments and situations that put our nerves to the test.
You have to learn to remove the fear of those Christmas dates. We can take Christmas as a period in which we can get out of the daily routine, seeing relatives or friends that we haven’t seen for a long time, being more flexible with schedules and sharpening creativity so as not to spend so much money or we can take Christmas at tremendous and that it comes accompanied by each and every one of the symptoms of anxiety.
Moments of anxiety at Christmas
But what causes us anxiety at Christmas are not just moments, they are also general situations and specific attitudes that we must learn to handle. One of those situations that cause the most anxiety is family gatherings, with a tense atmosphere, discussions, reproaches, awkward silences or critical looks. Tolerance and patience are going to be our indispensable look for those situations.
It is also very common for nerves and sadness to worsen on Christmas dates due to the absence of loved Ones. Its and it is possible that we cannot control so many emotions together. Enjoying those who are here and remembering those who are gone with joy is the healthiest attitude to avoid having a Christmas spent in tears.
The material makes an appearance at Christmas more than ever, despite supposedly being days of peace, love and joy. The frustration for not being able to meet the expectations of children with Christmas or Epiphany gifts, for not organizing a dinner with the most exclusive delicacies or not showing up at the family home loaded with gifts for everyone, is a very common cause of anxiety that we can only avoid it if we do a thorough review of our vital priorities.
We cannot ignore the stress and hustle and bustle of these dates that can cause anxiety to explode. Working, with the children on vacation, preparing the trip to the grandparents’ house, buying gifts, meeting up with old friends, a company dinner, organizing the family menu. Dates that ideally promote calm, actually become the most stressful time of the year, with more responsibilities than ever and also with the.
Social commitments that are also mixed with work at Christmas are a major source of anxiety. They make us rethink many things about how we relate to others and about our true role at work, for example. Doubts arrive, are we doing it right? And our perfectionist and self-demanding spirit tells us no, that we are failing.
Because on these dates when large banquets predominate, our self-demand becomes a feast in the spirit of Christmas. It literally eats it, swallows it, and peace, calm and good wishes end up in the stomach of that monster called self-demand. Thoughts like I’m not doing it right, I’m letting this person down, they won’t like the gift, dinner is going to be a disaster, and all the typical Christmas “should” can turn this season of happiness into hell.
For a Christmas without anxiety
Anxiety problems are caused by multiple factors, which is why it is so difficult to treat. But the problem with Christmas is clearer: there is a big difference between what we expect from Christmas and what Christmas really is. Influenced by cinema, television, literature and even by religious tradition, we have a very clear idea of how Christmas should be.
A time of peace, a time of love, a time of family reunion, full of joy and happiness, illusion, meetings, reconciliation, support, games, communication, gifts, hugs, kisses and smiles. This is the ideal Christmas and the one we suppose we should live. And when the time comes you realize that nothing or little of that has your Christmas; not mine, not that of most people.
This discrepancy between what we imagine Christmas to be and what it really are calls for one of anxiety’s best friends, which is frustration. We already have two more guests, frustration and self-demand, at this Christmas dinner, some guests who are not well received but who refuse to leave. And do you know why they insist on staying?
We ourselves make them stronger by giving them more attention than they deserve. When you begin to notice the first symptoms of emotional discomfort at Christmas, overland you can no longer manage the avalanche of emotions that comes your way. Is there a solution for this problem? There is. And it is the same solution as to overcome an anxiety problem.
But before looking for solutions we have to address another delicate issue that brings anxiety home for Christmas. The year is coming to an end and it is time to reflect and on our lives. In that reflection we tend to be critical of ourselves and we realize that, for yet another year, we have not achieved what we wanted.
We are not prettier, nor are we skinnier, we have not stopped arguing with our partner nor have we been more patient with our children. We haven’t been promoted at work and our boss keeps loading us with tasks that we take home that we don’t dare say NO to. We have not reconciled with our sister and we have not visited our parents or in-laws enough. We haven’t been to the gym, we haven’t learned English, and we haven’t quit smoking. One more year the balance is negative.
How to reduce anxiety at Christmas?
This may give you a clearer idea of the intense and insistent presence of anxiety at Christmas. With this attitude it is impossible to even come close to emotional balance. And add to all of the above that social imposition of happiness, that obligation each and every moment of your life, that pressure to smile constantly.
Overcoming anxiety at Christmas requires the same techniques as overcoming it at any other time of the year. Patience, psychological help, time to assimilate, to accept and to integrate, unlearn, learn, relearn, love for yourself, understanding, empathy and, again, acceptance. Does all this seem very ambiguous to you? Indeed it is. And until you manage to put all these things into daily practice, you will continue in that battle against anxiety that you already sense that you have lost.
It is lost precisely because you consider it a battle. For this reason, psychological therapy is needed to help you understand that overcoming an anxiety disorder is a learning path and not a pitched battle. But we don’t have that much time because Christmas is upon us and right now all we need is to reduce anxiety a bit, lighten the pressure a bit so that we can enjoy these dates. Ok, so we have some ideas.
Plant yourself in front of Christmas from a neutral perspective. Neither positive attitude nor negative attitude. Observe objectively what you have. This is your family, this is your job, this is where you are living, and this is your life. It is not a take it or leaves it, it is what you have and that is what you should work with to spend the holidays as calmly as possible.
Park the thoughts that start with I wish, if I could, if I had and in general those ideas of how wonderful everything would be if everything were different. Because right now he is not, he works from reality and accepts that reality.
With all the tasks and obligations of Christmas, it is normal for anxiety to skyrocket and so that the feeling of overflow and that everything is out of control invades you, nothing better than good planning. Plan schedules, activities, menus, purchases, visits and events. Are you getting saturated just by writing everything down on the agenda? Well then, also reserve time for you, to be alone for a moment, in silence.
Practice the art of saying NO to all those Christmas social engagements you don’t feel like attending. It is not an obligation to be in all the Christmas saris. Maybe you can’t avoid going to the company dinner and it’s obvious that you have no choice but to put up with your, but surely you can ignore the invitation to that alumni reunion.
Is your emotional discomfort closely linked to your economy? Make use of your imagination and your creativity when it comes to gifts. And in the face of excessive spending and waste in the form of packed tables, you can change the traditions; you can skip the Christmas rules and routines and opt for cheaper. If you sense that you are going to hear complaints and protests, present it as an innovation proposal. Renewed or die.
And the most important. Without the need to embitter those around you, you can forget to appear happy when you don’t have it, to laugher to hug without affection. You have the right to be happy, but you also have every right in the world to feel unhappy at any given time, to not be able to cope with everything and, above all, to not be perfect.