November 20, 2023

The Festive Period: A Time of Mixed Emotions. Insights from Blue Team

Christmas is often portrayed as a season of happiness, joy, and peace, but it doesn’t necessarily bring these feelings to everyone. For many, the festive period can be a source of immense stress. Financial worries, strained family relationships, social anxiety, or the pain of losing a loved one and breaks in routine are just a few factors that can make this time challenging and triggering.

The expectation to feel happy during Christmas can and does lead to increased distress and feelings of being separate from others.  If you are estranged from some members of your family and things are not harmonious, it can be especially difficult. 

To help address this, we have a message for you, and we’ve created some practical advice from our colleagues and clients on how they navigate the festive season

Firstly, try writing this statement down and put it where you can see it every day:

It’s not my responsibility to convince other people, or get their permission, to do what’s right for me, and to look after myself.

Some other practical things you can do that will help:

  • Budget Wisely: Treat Christmas lunch like a regular Sunday roast. Extravagance isn’t necessary – you don’t need gold-leafed sprouts! Feel free to break away from tradition entirely!
  • Personalised Gifts: Have a go at some homemade gifts for your loved ones instead of overspending.  They’ll love the thought and effort so much more than if you bought something.
  • Set Realistic Expectations: If travelling to meet people is overwhelming, opt for alternatives. For instance, consider scheduling social days for extended family and friends in the run up and in the new year, keeping Christmas Day intimate.
  • Virtual Connections: Use technology for staying in touch, allowing you to remain comfortable at home.
  • Schedule ‘Me Time’: Plan ahead for moments of rest, especially if you have excited children at home.
  • Community Engagement: If you’re alone at Christmas, seek out community gatherings, like the Peoples Kitchen in Newcastle upon Tyne.

As we’ve all endured difficult times recently, it’s crucial to practise kindness and compassion towards ourselves.

New Year: Rethinking Resolutions

As the New Year approaches, it’s traditional to set resolutions. Often, our ambitions lead to a sense of failure rather than accomplishment. We suggest considering more creative, non-traditional resolutions:

  • Gratitude Journaling: This is a wonderful way to cultivate thankfulness daily
  • Reflect on Successes: Acknowledge what went well last year and what continues to thrive.
  • Experience Over Material: Plan new experiences, be it travel or trying new foods.
  • Learn to Say No: It’s okay to decline sometimes.
  • Dress for Yourself: Wear what makes you feel confident and happy.
  • Meet New People: Expand your social circle.
  • Tech Detox: Disconnect from technology for a day.
  • Prioritise Sleep: Focus on getting quality rest.
  • Embrace Relaxation: Find ways to unwind and de-stress.
  • Self-Discovery: Keep a diary to track activities and moods, aiding in discovering what truly brings joy.

Let’s welcome this New Year with a fresh perspective, focusing on self-care and personal growth. All the best to you for 2024, from Team Blue x