Christmas and the holidays can be a time of great joy and connecting with family but it is also a time of loneliness, stress, anxiety and depression.
In the months before the ‘Annual Celebration’ arrives we are bombarded by advertising that shows how to enjoy the perfect Christmas day. Beautiful presents, wholesome food, the table sagging with all the wonderful treats. And, of course, everyone is happy, singing songs and having an amazing time with each other.
Fantasy of Christmas
In other words, society and advertising create a fantasy of how Christmas should be. Of course, in some cases that is exactly what happens. But, unfortunately, for many families, this fantasy quickly becomes a nightmare. In the lead up to Christmas: the planning, the costs, the ‘memories of yesteryear’ all add to the pressure on siblings and extended families. The anxiety and stress at the very thought of meeting up and ‘playing’ happy families over Christmas takes all the joy out of the occasion. It should be the happiest time of our year but, trying to create this ‘fantasy’ is often just too overwhelming.
Another part of the Holiday Season fantasy is that we all have family to share this time with. But again, for some, Christmas is the loneliest time of the year. It can be the most depressing, anxious and ‘alone’ time. Its made worse by the perceived Joy the TV tells us everyone else is enjoying. There are many people out there who are alone, and the Christmas fantasy can make these people feel even more alone and unsupported. Over Christmas we see more people suffer from depression and, worst of all, the rate of suicides doubles almost every year.
Share Your Joy with Others
So please be grateful for your blessings. Acknowledge your family and friends, and be grateful you have people to be with. If you know anyone who may be alone, take the time to share some of your joy with them. The Festive season is about sharing and being grateful. It was never supposed to be focused on food, decorations and presents. Forget the fantasy. Be grateful for what you have and enjoy the ‘Christmas’ that works for you.