• Michelle Audette

5 Tips For Coping When Your Christmas Won't Be Merry......

Updated: Dec 13, 2018

This will be my 48th Christmas and while most have been lovely, relaxing breaks – many have been fraught, tense, angry and depressing. Death, divorce, estrangements, redundancy, family feuds, politics, credit card debt, drug abuse, frazzled nerves and too much prosecco can turn a few days off of work into a nightmare. You can be suffering because you’re alone with no family or suffering because you are surrounded by your family. And you know what? It’s okay.

This time of year, we are bombarded with pressure to have an 'Instagram-perfect' Christmas holiday. Everything should be beautiful, loving and shared widely on social media – but the reality is that most of us, at some point or another, will have a Christmas that's pretty awful. Life can be difficult and there is no magic wand that makes everything better on December 25th.

So this year isn’t going to be great? Well here are things that can help you through it:

1. Let yourself cry – go on, go for it. Have a big long, messy, snotty cry – let it all out. You feel angry, sad and blue all at once – don’t hold it in. Lock the door, grab the tissues and then run yourself a long hot bath. You’ll feel better for it.

2. Get some fresh air and exercise – lace up those boots, grab the hat and gloves and get out in the great outdoors. Being in nature is proven a natural mood-booster and stress-reliever. Moving your body will also pump up the endorphins. Your body and mind will thank you.

3. Watch some trash TV or grab a cheesy romance novel – in other words – ESCAPE! In the middle of a terrible Christmas is the time when you’re already jumped out of the plane and the parachute didn’t open – not much you can do about it now. So grab a big bowl of popcorn and some chocolate and dive into your favourite escape.

4. Try to plan something nurturing for yourself - can you sneak away for coffee with a good friend, book a massage or squeeze in a round of golf? Removing yourself from your difficult environment for an hour or two can help relieve some stress. And doing something pleasurable for yourself can revive you and allow you to return to your Christmas situation more refreshed and tolerant of it.

5. Think about what you’ll do differently next year – much as the pain of touching a hot stove teaches you to not touch it again - suffering through an awful Christmas can be the catalyst you need to inspire change for next year. The human race is inventive and adaptable – figure out what it is that made this year so awful and plan create a different plan for next year.

It's okay not to have a Merry Christmas some years - life is unpredictable and isn't always a Disney movie. But the ups and downs make us human - even at Christmas time. So if anyone says 'Merry Christmas' to you - feel free to answer back, 'Bah Humbug'!




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