So Christmas has rolled around again and although I love a mince pie and a bit of tinsel as much as the next person I’d be a liar if I said Christmas is an easy time. In fact the whole thing makes me want to paint myself green and declare a loud bah humbug to one and all.
This year has been all about recovery for me and I have come a long way but Christmas is a big fat reminder that I’m not where I hoped I would be. I have a huge amount to be thankful for but sometimes the grief for the future I feel I have lost, threatens to overwhelm me again.
It’s tough to keep smiling when you feel like there is a gaping hole in your life and lonely feels a whole lot lonelier when everyone around you seems to be having such a merry ole time. There’s a deluge of adverts that seem to be selling “the perfect family Christmas” it’s as if the world is conspiring to make you feel like a total loser. So if you’re feeling the same, here are my top tips for surviving the Christmas assault course.
1) Be honest and kind to yourself, even if your separation was a while ago it’s ok to feel like a bit of a Grinch.
2) Think about what you really want to do and stick to that. If you really can’t face that Christmas party or whatever other festive engagement you’re dreading… Don’t go. (Last year I dodged Christmas altogether by going somewhere hot and sunny instead – it was divine).
3) Don’t isolate yourself, reach out to friends who understand and plan to get together.
4) Write New Years Resolutions – not the tiresome “I’ll give up cake” type but the fun “next year I will…” type. Make a commitment to yourself to do something you have always wanted to do.
5) Take joy in the small things. Just because Christmas is a bit sucky now doesn’t mean there aren’t good bits you can enjoy. This year the little fun bits I have reclaimed include Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows and the raucous singing of carols.
Hang in there…