When/If Christmas is SHIT
When Christmas is SHIT - This post is for those of you that are spending Christmas alone and/or find Christmas particularly tough.
Last Christmas was the worst for me. I was unexpectedly stuck in London and couldn’t go home to Australia to see my family. Despite some last minute invites from friends, being the naive introvert that I was, stupidly decided that it was a better idea to just stay isolated rather than endure the stress of small talk and the unknown.
‘It’s just another day’ I reassured myself.
Well - It wasn’t - it was cold, dark and extremely existential (but not in a funny Mark Manson kind of way).
Christmas can be extremely tough and it’s only heightened by the surrounding environment of ‘happy’ carols PLAYING IN EVERY SHOP, the smell of cinnamon and wrapping paper, joyous kids, dogs in Santa hats etc, etc. If your feeling like SHIT, Christmas is possibly THE WORST contrast - only making your shitness, even shitter (for lack of a better word).
So here are my top tips for surviving (or not hitting someone singing Christmas carols on the bus next to you), if you do feel shit this Christmas:
Exercise - Don’t roll your eyes at me on this one. Exercise was actually a saving grace for me when I was on my own. I was flooded with endorphins and was reminded that my body does not GAF that it’s Christmas. I followed this with some dynamic yoga and felt on cloud nine for at least 90 minutes after.
Binge watch extremely intelligent but sarcastic comedians like Ricky Gervais and Bill Burr.
Move onto episodes of Curb your Enthusiasm, Seinfeld, the office and extras.
Listen to podcasts, rug up and go for a walk (I will warn you that walking around London on Christmas day was surprisingly more like the first scene in the zombie movie 28 days later - I thought it would be hustling but it wasn’t and it made me feel even more stressed - but then I just focused on the podcast so was fine).
Follow @dailystoic and binge read their quotes.
Don’t drink - I say this because I think it’s a bad idea to get into the habit of drinking when you’re sad. Drinking when you’re happy or there is a celebration to be had then GREAT! But consuming alcohol in an effort to numb out painful feelings just leads to addiction. Harsh, but true.
Tell people you’re alone and express how you’re feeling. Christmas isn’t just a capitalist holiday used to exploit the consumerist system we live in - no - it does have it’s roots in kindness. When I eventually had the courage to tell friends that I was struggling, I was so amazed at their generosity to spent time talking to me on the phone. If you don’t have friends that you can talk to, there are helplines and there is NO shame in speaking to professionals.
Here are some help lines to contact;
If you’ve ever had a shitty Christmas, please feel free to share your methods for survival below - let’s make the thread a resource for finding joy when Christmas is actually making you feel worse.
Lots of love and Happy Festivus for the rest of us.