We’ve been in advent for twelve days now, and I am loving having my little chocolate for breakfast each morning. Not sure my cholesterol levels are going to appreciate my diet at this time of year, but December is always a ‘cheat month’ with January looming to reorganise your diet and life! Although I clearly enjoy myself at this time of year, it’s also a controversial season, with some loving it and some hating it… This year it’s hard to feel quite as festive as usual, and for me I don’t seem to have quite as much money to spend, which is making presents a lot more stressful! That being said, as I sit writing with my Xmas playlist on, surrounded by Xmas decor, I can still feel the Christmas love.
Obviously, Christmas isn’t easy for everyone. It’s often a lonely time for many, and also difficult to celebrate without those who have left us, meaning that it’s important to remember it is okay to not enjoy this time of year as much as most of the population seem to. If you prefer to stay in and continue with life as normal, that’s perfectly okay, but it’s also absolutely fine to feel down during this season, as I promise you not everyone is ‘jolly’ 24/7. However, if you do consistently feel down, lonely, or just a bit lost, it’s important you speak to those you trust and use services available if you feel this is something you need. Here are some numbers for if you are struggling:
CALM (Campaign Against Men Living Miserably)- 0800 58 58 58
Samaritans- 116 123
Refuge (domestic violence) 0808 2000 247
Alcoholics Anonymous- 0800 917 7650
Alzheimer’s Society- 0300 222 1122
Cruse Bereavement Care- 0808 808 1677
Family Lives (parenting)- 0808 800 2222
I find another big struggle around Christmas is pressure. Of course, there should be no such thing as pressure at Christmas, but it seems to be something I bump into each year. Who has the biggest tree? Who gives the best presents? Who is going to take on the responsibility of cooking the meat? It all just seems to build up and can sometimes cause the Christmas spirit to be lost. I like to remind myself that everyone’s Christmas is different, and there really isn’t a ‘perfect’ Christmas. Some prefer a huge celebration, gathering as many relatives as possible, whereas some prefer to have a quieter few days, sharing the moments with those closest to them. However your Christmas goes, don’t be restricted by unrealistic expectations, especially this year, when things are bound to be different. Appreciate the small things, such as the brightness of the streets, the freshness in the air, and the excitement of little children; that’s what makes this time of year truly special.
Despite the stress, chilliness and expense of the festive season, it will still remain as one of my favourite times of years. I love the shared excitement across the country and the general positivity that the holiday encourages. This year I will be having a quieter Christmas, but am still looking forward to the luscious food, generous gifts and the childish excitement on the days beforehand. Christmas is a time to spread extra joy, laughter and love, and even if you do find it more difficult than most, make sure you surround yourself with people who will do just that! I need to start properly Christmas shopping, so if you have any ideas drop them down below and I’ll see what I can do!